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Head Start

Early Childhood Development and Health Services


The goal of the Education component is to help children gain the skills and confidence necesssary to succeed in their present environment and to be prepared for later responsibilities in school and life.

The education staff makes up the largest and most complex of all components in the Head Start Program. They know the best way for young children to learn about their physical and social worlds is through playful interaction with people and objects. Children are encouraged to:
  • Develop an appreciation for ethnic, cultural, and linguistic diversity
  • Express their feelings
  • Develop self-confidence
  • Develop the ability to get along with others
  • Develop emerging literacy and number skills
  • Use and develop their home language

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Health Services

The philosophy of the Health Services Component is that children learn best when they are happy and healthy. The program believes in promoting preventive health services and linking the family to an ongoing health-care system to ensure that each child continues to receive comprehensive health care even after leaving the Head Start Program.

The goal of the Health Services component is to provide optimal health for each child so that they may achieve their fullest potential - physically, emotionally, intellectually and socially. Achieving and maintaining optimum health is closely related to the students' well being and accomplishments. The Health Services component continually encourages active parent participation in the health and dental education program.

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The Nutrition component provides children with well-balanced meals, gives nutrition education to children, staff and families, and helps the whole family attain optimal health through their diets. The program has participated in the Tulare County Nutrition Monitoring Network to decrease the incidence of iron deficiency anemia in the 0-5 age population.

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Special Needs

Head Start mandates that 10 percent of the children in the program are those with either physical or developmental disabilities. Inclusion of children with special needs helps children develop to their fullest potential by assisting them in getting their individual needs met. It also provides an opportunity for their non-disabled peers to learn about similarities and differences.

Before a child is placed in the program, consideration is given to what kind of special needs the child has, what accommodations may have to be made in the classroom and/or the playground, and the specific training that center or Home-Based staff will need so that individual education plans can be implemented effectively.

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Family and Community Partnerships

Social Services

The Social Services component assists families whose children are enrolled in the program to improve the condition and quality of family life. Emphasis is placed on helping individuals to draw on their own strengths and to use resources in their community to resolve issues as they arise.

Social Services activities include helping with recruitment and enrollment, providing resources, doing family needs assessments, referrals, follow-ups, case management, crisis intervention and advocacy.

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Parent Involvement

The goal of the Parent Involvement component is to enhance the role of parents as the principal influence in the education of their children and to assist families to identify and utilize their strengths to make maximum use of the community resources to meet their needs.

Parents are encouraged to become involved with the program, help in the classroom, attend parent meetings, serve on the Program Policy Council and parent committees. They are also encouraged to become advocates for their children when their children transition to school.

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Tulare County Office of Education
Early Childhood Education Program
7000 Doe Avenue, Suite C, Visalia, CA 93291

Julie Berk, Administrator
(559) 651-3022 • fax: (559) 651-3802

Jim Vidak, County Superintendent of Schools
Tulare County Office of Education
All mail to: P.O. Box 5091, Visalia, CA 93278-5091
Physical address: 6200 S. Mooney Blvd., Visalia, CA
phone: (559) 733-6300 • fax: (559) 737-4378

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