Early Childhood Services

Head Start / Early Learn

Head Start / Early Learn

The SIMHS’s three full-service Head Start/Early Learn Centers and the Dongan Hills Head Start/DOE Universal Pre-Kindergarten site serve more than 300 children (at any one time) between the ages of 3 and 5 each year. Pre-K is offered at each Head Start center.

To be eligible for Head Start, a family’s income must meet federal guidelines. There are no fees or tuition, and free transportation is provided.

The nationally acclaimed, award-winning curriculum focuses on school readiness, and gives each child learning and playing experiences that prepare him or her for school, academically, emotionally, and socially. Bi-lingual teachers assist children for whom English is a second language. Children are also provided with a wide range of health and social services.

To support children in the development of skills critical to their future school success, New York State-certified teachers and trained assistant teachers work with parents to develop individual educational plans that advance their child’s readiness in all areas of cognitive development including language and literacy, math, science, critical thinking, and social living. Each child’s social and emotional development, health and nutrition, are also areas of focus. Parents receive detailed reports of their child’s progress three times during the school year.

In collaboration with the Society’s Elizabeth W. Pouch Center for Special People, the Integrated Preschool Classroom at the  Osgood Avenue Head Start Center provides educational and therapeutic supports to children with special needs who share a classroom with their mainstream peers.

Head Start parents receive a wide variety of important child development and support services including family skills workshops, health education, social services, and job development through New York City’s Work Experience Program. A partnership with the College of Staten Island offers parents adult education and English as a Second Language classes at the Kingsley and Osgood Head Start Centers.

Head Start/Early Learn Centers
Roseann Catania, MS,  Director and Vice President, Early Childhood Services

Dongan Hills Head Start/
DOE Universal Pre-Kindergarten Center
Kingsley Head Start/Early Learn Center
44 Dongan Hills Avenue 10 Kingsley Place (New Brighton)
Staten Island, NY 10306 Staten Island, NY 10301
Tel: 718-987-7755 Tel: 718-442-6680
Osgood Head Start/Early Learn Center Port Richmond Day Nursery
 Head Start/Early Learn Center
16 Osgood Avenue (Stapleton) 166 Lockman Avenue (Mariners Harbor)
Staten Island, NY 10304 Staten Island, NY 10303
Tel: 718-420-6138 Tel: 718-494-0400

 

 

 

About Head Start

There are many transitions that Head Start children experience. Whether a child is coming to school for the first time, transferring to a new classroom, or leaving Head Start, these events can be very stressful to a young child and his/her family. The following are the ways in which Head Start staff helps both children and families with these transitions.

Transition from Home to Head Start:

  1. Families are invited to an open house to see our program.
  2. Parents come to the center and complete an Intake Packet, while children visit classrooms to experience a Taste of Head Start.
  3. Teachers and Family Advocates go on home visits to continue to build the relationship that started at the open house.
  4. Parents attend the Parent Orientation to learn about all the programs the school has to offer both parents and children.
  5. Children start the first two days of school as half days to support their  adjustment to school.
  6. Teachers create lesson plans that reflect the need for children to adjust to school and learn the daily routine.
  7. Parents have a get-acquainted day to get to know staff and each other.

Transition from Head Start to Head Start:

  1. Children in the 3-year-old classrooms visit the 4-year-old classrooms to meetteachers and become acquainted with the environment.
  2. Teachers and Family Advocates go on home visits to continue to build the relationship that was started last year.
  3. Parents attend the Parent Orientation to learn about all the programs the school has to offer both parents and children.
  4. Children start the first two days of school as  half days to support their  adjustment to school.
  5. Teachers create lesson plans that reflect the need for children to adjust to school and learn the daily routine.
  6. Parents have a get-acquainted day to get to know staff and each other.

Transition from Head Start to Public School:

  1. Parents are encouraged to begin looking at their choices for kindergarten and begin to research the schools they are interested in.
  2. Family Advocates assist parents with the kindergarten registration process in January.
  3. Head Start staffs support parents whose children are going through the Turning 5 process.
  4. Teachers and Family Advocates log and ask parents what school they registered their child for.
  5. Kindergarten Breakfast Meetings are scheduled between February and May to introduce our parents to the zoned school and charter school staffs. They will bring applications and talk about what their schools have to offer.
  6. Transition trips to the zoned schools are scheduled so children can become acquainted with the new school environment.
  7. Teachers will plan lessons to include the transition to kindergarten, a new school, making new friends and having different teachers.

Head Start begins preparing children for kindergarten from the time they enter our program until graduation day. We use a research-based curriculum called High Scope. High Scope’s active learning model provides inclusive experiences for children with and without disabilities, allowing children at all levels to succeed. Along with High Scope curriculum, we have an ongoing assessment tool called the Child Observation Record or COR. This COR data is analyzed three times per year by our School Readiness Team to look at the trends in our schools. This team allows us to review the data to ensure the Common Core standards and Key Developmental Indicators, along with the Head Start framework, are met in our classrooms.

As our children prepare to leave us and transition from Head Start to public school, we take the following steps to ensure the families and children succeed:

  1. Parents are encouraged to begin looking at their choices for kindergarten and begin to research the schools they are interested in.
  2. Family Advocates assist parents with the kindergarten registration process in January.
  3. Head Start staff support parents whose children are going through the Turning 5 process.
  4. Teachers and Family Advocates log and ask parents what school they registered their child for.
  5. Kindergarten Breakfast Meetings are scheduled between February and May to introduce our parents to the zoned school and charter school staffs. They will bring applications and talk about what their schools have to offer.
  6. Transition trips to the zoned schools are scheduled so children can become acquainted with the new school environment.
  7. Teachers will plan lessons to include the transition to kindergarten, a new school, making new friends and having different teachers.

 

Family Engagement

Staten Island Head Start takes great pride in its ability to connect with parents by engaging them with their child’s education as well as empowering parents to be the best advocates for themselves and their children. It is done through the unique way of forming a partnership with the entire family.

The best form of awareness begins with education. “It’s not the will to win, but the will to prepare to win that makes all the difference.” ~ Bear Bryant.  We prepare parents to win by providing group work pertaining to Parenting Skills, Stress Management, Crisis Intervention, Women’s Empowerment Groups and the Men’s Group.  Workshops are held with guest speakers to educate parents in a variety of areas pertaining to Mental Health, Special Educational Needs, Nutrition, Housing, Immigration, Legal issues, Child Abuse Prevention, to name a few. ESL classes and GED classes are also offered.

Parents are partners and through this partnership, they contribute to the decision-making process of plans, policies and procedures of our school.  They join committees that contribute to the governing process.  Our parents are always welcome to visit and volunteer their time, through our Open Door Policy.  Throughout the year, celebrations are held, recognizing our parents for their dedication.

We know that parents are a child’s first and most important teachers. School Readiness teams are formed with the Education and Social staffs to review educational outcomes and implement strategies to assure the best quality of services to prepare their children for Kindergarten. Parents receive a “head start” for their children and for themselves. Tomorrow is always brighter because the present starts here.  Many of our employees relate to our parents through a special connection, because they too, were Head Start parents.

Learn more about the Staten Island Mental Health Society. Download our Annual Report: SIMHS Annual Report 2015