October is Head Start Awareness Month

Oct 18, 2022
| Posted in
Head Start teacher with children.

MARC Head Start is the Head Start and Early Head Start grantee for Clay, Jackson and Platte counties in Missouri and serves 2,400 infants, toddlers and preschoolers. Funding is provided by federal, state and private grants as well as local contributions. In the 2020–2021 program year, 94% of families served were either income-eligible, receiving public assistance, had a child in foster care or were identified as homeless. 

“At MARC Head Start, we believe every child has the ability to succeed,” said MARC Head Start Program Director Steven Lewis. “We are particularly committed to serving populations most in need.”

A primary goal of Head Start is to increase the school readiness of infants, toddlers and preschool children. This approach includes the health of children. 

Because healthy children are more successful in school, MARC partners with agencies such as Swope Health Services to offer medical care. Staff work with families to navigate the health care system and advocate for the child’s medical and dental needs.

Head Start programs also support families’ efforts to build relationships with medical and dental homes where their children will receive comprehensive medical and oral health services.

The MARC Head Start network of providers offers oversight and support for delivering Head Start and Early Head Start services through 17 childhood agencies. During the pandemic, these 17 agencies continued to provide educational services. If face-to-face educational services were not possible, providers offered virtual learning opportunities that followed specific procedures. Early education staff identified a virtual platform when needed, helped families access the virtual platform, and provided live and interactive learning opportunities once a week.

These undertakings were no small task. Early education providers deserve thanks for their accomplishments, dedication and service. MARC Head Start will continue to strengthen early childhood education in the region so every child has the ability to succeed.