The month of October is Head Start Awareness Month. So, the time is right to put a spotlight on the Head Start approach to early child care.
MARC Head Start programs prepare children for success in school and life by giving them learning experiences that adapt to their changing needs and abilities. A part of MARC’s Department of Early Learning, the MARC Head Start program is the Head Start and Early Head Start grantee for Clay, Platte and Jackson counties in Missouri. This program is funded by federal, state and private grants, as well as local contributions.
“MARC Head Start is making a positive impact in the Kansas City region in the lives of children and families through early intervention services,” said Kasey Lawson, MARC Head Start program director.
Head Start approach
Head Start serves children from birth to age 5 through services that support early learning and development, health and family well-being. In Head Start programs:
- Children and families come first.
- All people are included and respected.
- Children’s basic needs are met, and their ideas and interests are essential.
- School readiness includes academic skills and social and emotional competence for children, advocacy skills for parents and kindergarten partnerships.
- Families are valued partners and can get help with their goals and basic needs.
Head Start helps families
By helping parents achieve family goals, such as housing stability, continued education and financial security, Head Start programs are changing lives in communities across the United States and within the Kansas City region. MARC Head Start engages families by:
- Inviting parents to share information and insights about their child.
- Celebrating the role of fathers and male caregivers through father engagement.
- Engaging parents as their child’s lifelong advocate.
- Welcoming parents to offer ways to improve children's and families’ experiences in the program, including through leadership roles on the Policy Council.
- Supporting child and family transitions to Head Start, kindergarten or another early childhood program when the child is ready for the next step.