Head Start is an early childhood development program that provides comprehensive services to children age three to five and their families.
Families served are primarily at or below the 100 percent poverty level.
Head start can serve up to 35 percent of children that are at or below the 130 percent level and up to 10 percent of children above the poverty guideline.
Head Start is a federally funded program receiving its federal dollars via the Department of Health and Human Services,AdministrationforChildrenandFamilies,andOfficeofHeadStart.
Thefederalgovernmentrequires Head Start programs to obtain a 25 percent non-federal match on every federal dollar expended within their program.
The in-kind match is meant to have communities show support and have a stake in the Head Start program.
Without the tremendous support of volunteers this program would not be possible.
Southeast Nebraska Community Action Partnership, Inc. (SENCA) is a grantee for the Head Start program that currently serves the southeast Nebraska counties of Nemaha, Otoe, Pawnee, and Richardson. SENCA has been the grantee agency for the Head Start program in southeast Nebraska since 1968. SENCA Head Start is funded to serve 151 children with 32 slots in Nemaha County, 51 slots in Otoe County, 18 slots in Pawnee County, and 50 slots in Richardson County. The SENCA Head Start centers are located in Auburn, Nebraska City, Table Rock, and Falls City. Collaboration sites include Bulldog Beginnings at Auburn Public Schools, HTRS Early Education Center at HTRS Public Schools, and Parent Child Center at Falls City Public Schools. With a fleet of seven buses, one being handicap accessible, every effort is made to provide transportation to all children who attend school at SENCA Head Start sites. SENCA Head Start operates Monday through Thursday with classes held in both part day and full day programs.
SENCA Head Start utilizes the Creative Curriculum 5th edition for Preschool in our classrooms. We also implement Positive Behavior Instructional Support, a systematic approach to preventing or reducing challenging behaviors and, eventually, enhancing the quality of life for individuals and support providers.
All activities in the Head Start classrooms are based on learning through play, allowing for the educational opportunity to be given to every child.
The program starts by teaching children school readiness and self-sufficiency skills of: listening, following directions, letters, names, numbers, cutting, sharing, snapping, zipping, pouring, setting the tables, as well as cleaning up.
Individualization is done with every child, making it a fun and safe atmosphere on a daily basis. Our goal is to have every child ready for kindergarten when that time arrives.
Good health and wellness are essential components of the SENCA Head Start program. These components consistofphysicalhealth,dentalhealth,socialandemotionalhealth,andnutrition.
Theobjectiveofthehealth component is to ensure all child health and development concerns are identified and children and families are linkedtoongoingsourcesofcontinuous,accessiblecaretomeettheirhealthneeds. Aregistereddietician reviews nutritional information for each child allowing the dietician to make suggestions for families on how to improve or maintain their child’s nutritional needs for growth and development.
ParentandfamilyengagementisacriticalcomponentoftheHeadStartprogram. Parentsareencouragedto work at home with their own children. Home visits by teaching and social service staff are another way we involve and reinforce parents in their role as prime educators of their children. SENCA Head Start guides and assists parents in encouraging their children’s development. This kind of parent participation reinforces and supports the child’s total Head Start experience.
Angela K. Antholz, SENCA Head Start and Deputy Director, along with a team of Coordinators, Teachers, and support staff are preparing for the 2019-2020 school year. To review the full Head Start Annual Report to the Public for the 2018-2019 program year, please visit www.senca.org.