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Essay Paper on Head Start Programs

Improving the Lives of Children through Head Start Programs

Head Started programs are federally funded and aimed to support those children who have poor conditions of life and need social support. Head Started programs involve pre-school children, pregnant women, and their families. This program was implemented in1964 for disadvantaged children in order to improve their learning abilities and social situation.

There are different types of Head Start programs including Early Head Start for children 0-3 years of age; Migrant Head Start for children of migrant and seasonal worker families between 0-5 years, and American Indian Alaskan Native Head Start (Head Start Bureau, 2005). The main target of these programs is to minimize a gap between poor children and their middle-class peers. The main components of Head Start include education, health, parent Involvement, and social services. Children with disabilities “receive the full range of Head Start developmental services”.

During education programs: “Children participate in indoor and outdoor play and are introduced to the concepts of words and numbers in order to develop self-confidence and the ability to get along with others”. Health programs are based on medical and dental services, nutrition and mental health. Parents involvement is aimed to teach parents about educational activities that can be carried out at home. Social assistance means “community outreach, referrals, family need assessments, providing information about available community resources”.

All these activities improve lives of children giving them opportunities to develop skill and knowledge required in further study. Children socialize with others that help them become self-confident. Also, these programs help to improve listening and speaking skills, increase vocabulary, help children to know the letters, etc. As the most important these programs involve parents or caregivers in children development and education forcing them become active participants in their development of their children.

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