Head Start & Early Head Start
Education and Early Childhood Development
Higher Horizons provides both Head Start and Early Head Start program options. All educational services are customized to the individual child's developmental level (including children with disabilities) and considers each child's temperament, interests, and learning style. Higher Horizons Head Start & Early Head Start also respects the culture, language, and family of each child.
Head Start provides children with a variety of learning experiences. Children are offered a vast amount of opportunities to express themselves through art, music, movement, and storytelling. They participate in indoor and outdoor play, and learn about books, words, numbers, and the world around them. They are encouraged to communicate their ideas and feelings, and to develop self-confidence and social-emotional skills. The Head Start program also works with the children and parents to help them make a successful transition to Kindergarten.
Infants, toddlers, and pregnant women receive specialized care in Early Head Start. Higher Horizons Early Head Start program includes both center-based and home-based options, and provides services developed specifically for infants and toddlers from birth to age three and pregnant women. Early Head Start staff have special training to enable them to create an environment where infants and toddlers can flourish and develop important skills such as self-awareness, independence, and self-expression.
The Early Head Start program helps foster secure relationships between children and well-trained staff. Our policy of having one trained teacher for each group of four children helps create secure relationships between children and staff. This gives children the sense of trust and emotional security they need to explore their environment and develop new skills. Early Head Start extends services to children and parents in the home. Staff make home visits, especially to the homes of parents with newborns and older infants, to help strengthen parenting skills and to hear and respond to parental concerns.
Higher Horizons Head Start & Early Head Start responds to children with disabilities. Special training is provided to staff to help them work with disabled children. More than 10% of Head Start and Early Head Start children have special needs, and these children are included in all program activities. Higher Horizons staff also work closely with community agencies and other programs for young children with disabilities to ensure that children with special needs obtain the care they need.
The educational program consists of several integrated curriculum pieces:
The Creative Curriculum for Infants, Toddlers & Twos (Early Head Start)
The Creative Curriculum for Preschool (Head Start)
Portage (Home Based)
Let Me Play Head Start
I Am Moving, I Am Learning
Wolf Trap Theater Residency Program
The Creative Curriculum is a curriculum that helps teachers implement developmentally appropriate practice in the classroom. Teachers use a variety of approaches and take an active role in children’s learning by integrating content learning into everyday experiences. Children are observed purposefully and teachers use those observations to plan for each child and the whole group. Higher Horizons is now in year two of The Creative Curriculum implementation and results from the first year were very encouraging.
Portage is a curriculum that stresses the importance of parent/primary caretaker involvement. Home visitors work with parents to help them understand that the home is a natural and significant learning environment. They work together on individualizing objectives and strategies for each child and family based on their concerns, priorities and resources.
Teachers supplement all of the above with Al’s Pals, Nike Go, and I Am Moving, I Am Learning; educational programs that promote health, safety and self-esteem, and that promote a positive self-image and attitude toward others.