Head Start Director- Fran Steed
The Head Start program is accepting applications of children between the ages of 3 and four years for the school year. Head Start is federally funded and enrolls children at or below the federal poverty guidelines and children with a special need, handicap or disability. Ten percent of enrollment can be children whose family is over the current Federal Poverty Guidelines.
Head Start is a free preschool child development program with classes at six locations in Belmont County. Sites are located in the communities of Barnesville, Bellaire, Flushing, Martins Ferry, Powhatan Point and St.Clairsville. All centers are licensed through Ohio Day Care Licensing under ODJFS. Classes are scheduled Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. or 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. with snackand lunch served daily. One location also offers an afternoon session from 11:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.
To produce positive effects, Head Start is designed to work with the family in developing the whole child, including social and emotional development and self-regulation. Children are introduced to pre-readiness skills, such as colors, shapes, letter recognition, math, language and literacy development. Family Support Specialists work with parents to help achieve their own goals as well as their child's. Opportunities for engagement and parenting education are offered throughout the year.
Studies show that children starting kindergarten without first attending a preschool program enter school an estimated 18 months behind their peers. Children with poor attendance in preschool are shown to have more absences than their peers once they enter school. As adults, children with poor school attendance are prone to miss more work and have difficulty keeping a job.
Applications may be completed on-line or by calling the office.