Head Start

What is Head Start?

Chesterfield’s Head Start program promotes school readiness for young children from low-income families by enhancing their cognitive, social and emotional development.  School readiness means children are prepared for school, families are supporting their children’s learning and schools are ready as children transition into kindergarten.  

Guiding principles

  • Head Start supports the comprehensive development of children from birth to age five.

  • Through planned and spontaneous instruction, relationships with adults and play, children grow in language and literacy, science and math and social and emotional development.

  • Children receive health and developmental screenings, nutritious meals and oral and mental health support.

  • Programs connect families with medical, dental and mental health services to ensure children are receiving the services they need.

  • Parents and families are supported in achieving goals such as financial security, continued education and housing stability. Programs support and strengthen child relationships and engage families around children’s learning and development.

About the program

Head Start provides a comprehensive, individualized, developmentally appropriate preschool education program using the Creative Curriculum, the Ready Rosie curriculum, and Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies curriculum. The Creative Curriculum builds children’s confidence, creativity and critical thinking skills through hands-on, project-based investigations.  The PATHS curriculum is an evidence based social-emotional learning program. Ready Rosie is an early education tool that deepens parent engagement efforts by using video modeling and mobile technology. Ready Rosie has hundreds of brief videos in English and Spanish that model everyday interactions in familiar environments with real parents.

Children with disabilities

Head Start programs require 10% of enrollment spots to be reserved for children with disabilities. This requirement helps ensure that programs recruit children who are identified as eligible for IDEA services prior to entering Head Start. Additionally, this helps ensure proper screenings and evaluation referrals for children who may benefit from early intervention, special education or related services. Individualized support helps ensure effective teaching for children who have disabilities or special needs. 

Community Partnerships

Head Start partners with community organizations that support positive child and family outcomes. These organizations can respond to families’ interests and needs and can connect families to outside resources, encourage engagement in children’s learning and use community strengths and needs assessment data to guide collaboration.