Learning More about Head Start at Grace Hill

July 27, 2017
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Grace Hill Head Start/Early Head Start has three managed Head Start Centers. 

Patch and Carondelet Centers are located in South St.  Louis City.  Carondelet serves preschool (three to five year old) ages only, while the Patch center serves children birth through kindergarten, in addition to offering many expanded community resources.  Water Tower Head Start is located in North St.  Louis City and serves children who are three to five years old.  Water Tower is a hub environment, as it offers many resources that are tailored to community needs, in addition to individual empowerment. 

Within all Head Start classrooms, teaching staff are certified and trained within the field of Early Childhood Development in order to provide the highest quality of care and education to promote school readiness.

Grace Hill Head Start/Early Head Start's Approach to School Readiness means that “children are ready for school, families are ready to support their children’s learning, and schools are ready for children. Head Start views school readiness as children possessing the skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary for success in school and later learning and life.”

The Head Start for School Readiness Act makes it a top priority for programs to contribute to the school readiness of children. Specifically, the Head Start Act requires programs to “establish . . . goals that are aligned with the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework, State early learning standards, and requirements and expectations of the schools the children will be attending."

Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework (ages birth to five) presents five broad areas of early learning, referred to as central domains. These domains reflect research based expectations for learning and development. The Framework outlines the essential areas of development and learning that are used by Grace Hill Head Start/Early Head Start program to establish school readiness goals for our children, monitor children’s progress, align curriculum, and conduct program planning.

The Framework is organized into 5 central domains, 45 sub domains, goals, developmental progressions and indicators. The 5 central domains include:

  1. Approaches to Learning 
  2. Social & Emotional Development
  3. Language and Literacy 
  4. Cognition (Mathematics and Scientific Reasoning) 
  5. Perceptional, Motor, and Physical Development 

Through the implementation of continuous and comprehensive child development and family support services, teachers build trusting and respectful relationships with families that integrate their values, beliefs, and caregiving practices. Experiences are the context for learning and development in the five central domains for our children – perceptional, motor, and physical, social and emotional, approaches to learning, cognition, and language and literacy.

Our curriculum for birth through age 5:

• Supports each child’s individual pattern of development and learning;

• Provides for the development of cognitive skills by encouraging each child to organize his or her experiences, to understand concepts, and to develop age appropriate literacy, numeracy, reasoning, problem solving and decision-making skills, which form a foundation for school readiness and later school success;

• Integrates all educational aspects of the health, nutrition, and mental health services into program activities;

• Ensures that the program environment helps children develop emotional security and social relationships;

• Enhances each child’s understanding of self as an individual and as a member of a group;

• Provides each child with opportunities for success to help develop feelings of competence, self-esteem, and positive attitudes toward learning; and

• Provides individual and small group experiences both indoors and outdoors.

For more information regarding Head Start and how you can support these programs, please contact Vickie Evans, Director of Center Operations at vevans@gracehillsettlement.org.

From Delores Hardwick,  Community Relations & Volunteer Program Manager at Grace Hill Settlement House

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