Collaborations are developed through the greater Jacksonville area. Some existing partners are:
- Mayor John Peyton’s Literacy Initiative
- Jacksonville Children’s Commission
- Florida Institute of Education University of North Florida
- Jacksonville Housing Authority
- Duval County School Board
- Duval County Health Department
- Girls Scouts of America
- Magic Johnson Foundation
- Florida Department of Children and Families
- Early Learning Coalition of Duval County
- Jacksonville Public Library
- Work Source
Provision of ongoing comprehensive services for the neediest eligible children and families in Duval County. We also utilize an accredited curriculum that is enhanced by the utilization of a research-based literacy curriculum; and the involvement of parents in all facets of our program operations. Our “shared” governance results in a high level of involvement with our Board of Directors and the Head Start Policy Council. Our Policy Council is representative of 51% current parents and 49% professional and community representatives.
Operations have the responsibility for the acquisition of all facilities, ensuring that our centers meet state licensing requirements. View our current locations. A large segment of this division’s function includes daily transportation services for children and parents. This service area can best be described as the “support-arm” of our program operation.
The overall objective of the Early Childhood Development and Health Services’ (EC&HS) area is to provide all children with a safe, nurturing, engaging, enjoyable, and secure learning environment. The end results are the development of skills and increased confidence deemed necessary to succeed in their present surroundings. It also assists in coping with responsibilities that may arise later in school and in life. The Head Start Program places great emphasis on developing school readiness skills in our young children.
- Early Childhood Development integrates the High Reach Framework Curriculum into our children’s daily lesson plan. Children are evaluated using the Fluharty (language profile) and Brigance (screening) instruments. We also utilize the Galileo Assessment tool to determine “gains” throughout the program year.
- Child Health and Developmental Services ensures that through established partnerships between families, staff and in collaboration with area health professionals, all child health and developmental concerns are identified early. Children and their families are linked to an ongoing source of continuous, accessible care strategically placed to meet their basic health needs.
- Child Health and Safety supports the healthy physical development of our children. This is done through encouraging daily practices that assist in preventing future illnesses or injury and by promoting positive, culturally relevant health behaviors in families that will eventually enhance overall well-being.
- Child Nutrition promotes child wellness by providing nutrition services that supplement and complement those of the home and community. Head Start meets two-thirds of a child’s daily nutritional requirement. Program activities are provided to assist children and families with establishing good eating habits and to understand the importance of wellness practices in their home environment.
- Child Mental Health Services builds collaborative relationships among children, families, staff, mental health professionals, and the larger community. This is done in order to enhance an awareness and understanding of positive mental health practices.
Family and Community Partnerships’ (F&CP) objective is to support parents as they identify and meet their personal goals. It also nurtures the positive development of children in the context of their family and culture. F&CP acts as an advocate for communities that are supportive of children and families of all cultures. This service area also represents the organized method of assisting families to assess their needs through collaborative partnerships. These services attempt to build upon the individual strengths of families by meeting their needs through self-help and employment opportunities. This is accomplished by developing family partnership agreements which provide parent workshops and support services via referrals which in turn provide information about available community resources and how to access these services.
Our Responsible Fatherhood/Male Involvement Initiative was established to promote significant participation by our Head Start fathers and/or male designees enrolled in the program. Fathers are introduced to five steps that will assist them in making positive parental decisions, making progress towards developing employability skills, child rearing, family planning and other life affirming skills.
Fathers meet once a month to participate in workshops through a designed curriculum in the following areas that include, but are not limited to, modules in the area(s) of:
- Promotion of paternity at childbirth
- To encourage men to be fathers, whether married or not
- To assist in acclimating the fathers to take his rightful place in the home, workplace, as a fellow caregiver and provider of his family
- To discourage stereotype of the “deadbeat” dad syndrome
- To focus participation beyond the level of support groups and establish them in productive community activities.
We are excited about our newest initiative whether we strive to
We provide a seven week workshop series to assist our families in making their marriages and families healthier, stronger and more vibrant. The workshops are provided by Head Start staff that have been trained and certified in Covey’s
7-Habits of Highly Successful Families.
A collaboration was established through City and State initiatives to help our families, as well as, the citizens of Jacksonville to make our city a family-friendly place to raise children. The workshops are free and childcare is provided at the various training sites. Both engaged couples and those thinking about becoming engaged are encouraged to participate.
Upon entering our program, children are screened utilizing the Brigance Screener and shortly thereafter the Galileo Assessment Tool to determine their development in the following school readiness domains. Language and Literacy, Early Math, Social and Emotional Development, Approaches to Learning, Nature and Science, Creative Arts, Fine and Gross Motor Skills, Physical Health. This data is used to assist us in ongoing program planning and curriculum development.