All Head Start Programs are comprehensive child-development programs that serve children from birth to age 5, pregnant women and their families.
The programs strive to increase the school readiness of young children in low-income families.
Among the almost 7,000 children served annually by RCMA, approximately: 1,700 are in Migrant and Seasonal Head Start. The Migrant and Seasonal Head Start program provides child care and a comprehensive program of health, parent involvement, and social services for preschool children of low-income migrant and seasonal farm workers.
What services are offered?
There are four areas of service offered:
- Family and Community Partnerships
- Child Development Program
- Health Services
- Special Services
Family and Community Partnerships
Encourages parents to observe their children and to participate with them in group activities. Family Support Workers are bilingual and have work schedules that accommodate families’ needs. The program develops and maintains strong community partnerships to ensure service delivery.
Parents have opportunities for involvement in every aspect of the program. A Parent Policy Committee is active in every center, and at the state level, sharing governing responsibilities with agency boards of directors. At the centers, parents participate in literacy activities with their children, and attend other educational sessions.
Child Development Program
Provides a secure, stimulating environment in which children are helped to develop physically, emotionally, mentally, and socially. Classrooms must comply with state licensing standards and Head Start Performance Standards, offering full-time child care for children from 6 weeks to 6 years of age. The education program offers opportunities for active learning experiences for all ages. Teachers of 3, 4, and 5 year old children implement the High Scope curriculum.
In classrooms for infants and toddlers, teachers follow the methods of High Scope curriculum for infants and toddlers. The philosophy of respectful caregiving allows babies to develop at their own inherent pace, while providing them emotional support in a non-restraining physical environment.
Collaborate with the Migrant Health Program, Public Health Departments, and other health service providers in the community to ensure children are up-to-date on a schedule of preventive and primary care – including medical, dental, immunization and nutrition screening, and exams.When children need further assessment, treatment, or therapy, follow-up care plans are developed in consultation with parents, and families are referred for services. Nutritionally balanced and culturally relevant meals are served to the children and provided, in part, through the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program.
Bilingual mental health consultants are available to work with staff, parents, and children to promote emotional well-being to offer training and to identify local resources when referrals are needed.
Offered to children with disabilities. They receive comprehensive and individualized services, designed and implemented in partnership with the family and the providers of services in each child’s community. These services are developed to build on each child’s capabilities and strengths.
- 1,100 are in Head Start
- Head Start is the Key to the success of RCMA in preparing young children for public school is its mission to hire staff and teachers from the communities served. Most of our staff is bilingual, and many are former migrant farm workers, including our Migrant Head Start program manager.
- Head Start nationally evolved from a task force recommendation in 1964 for the development of a federally sponsored preschool program to meet the needs of disadvantaged children, Head Start now offers programs geared for children 3 to 5 years old.
- Early Head Start provides programs for infants and toddlers, newborns to 3 years. Responding to the unique season needs of migrant farm workers, Migrant and Seasonal Head Start was created in 1969 and serves newborns to 5 year olds.
- Head Start is a program within the Administration on Children, Youth and Families in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which awards grants to RCMA to provide these services.