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Early Childhood & Family Services
The Early Childhood and Family Services Division fosters early childhood development and education, family support and young children's readiness for school through teamwork with parents, staff and community partners. A holistic approach integrates health, nutrition, early literacy, parenting education, adult literacy and mental health.
- Education & Curriculum – a research based, effective, and valid curriculum is used which addresses all the major child development domains which are necessary for child development, growth, and school readiness. At Oakland Head Start we have effective instruction by credentialed teachers, and we meet each child where they are, by utilizing knowledge from screenings and assessments. A variety of teaching strategies and experiences are provided for the children through the use of technology (computer in each classroom), field trips, and carefully planned interest areas in the classrooms with a variety of materials for children to explore, share, manipulate and play with, designed to encourage children’s natural curiosity and interest in learning about the world around them.
- Home Visits, especially for families with newborns and infants. The Home-Based option is a vital model for children or parents who may not prefer the center based setting, and it prepares children through a smooth transition of exposure to large groups via regularly scheduled Socialization opportunities;
- Parent Education, including parent-child activities. Ongoing support for parents through case management and peer support groups. Leadership opportunities are provided to parents through Policy Council, Parent Meetings, and Curriculum Meetings, and parents receive empowerment workshops to prepare them for Kindergarten and child advocacy through the Parents Read for School series developed by Bay Area PLAN.
- Health and Mental Health Services are provided on a regular basis, by licensed nurses and therapists who are on the sites of the Head Start program. A mobile Eye Exam Van, See Well to Learn, visits each Head Start/Early Head Start site, to make sure a child’s vision is normal, and free glasses are provided for children who need them
- Nutrition, Physical Activities & Free Meals! Physical fitness opportunities that are developmentally appropriate and family- and child-centered, are provided for children on a regular basis. In addition, a variety of free, well-balanced, nutritious home-cooked meals are provided for children daily, along with a healthy snack.