Our Background and Overview
Head Start, one of many programs introduced in the 1960’s to address the needs of those living in poverty, is a federally funded child and family development program through the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). It has provided comprehensive early intervention services to low-income children and their families across the country since 1965. In addition, Early Head Start launched and began serving low-income infants, toddlers, pregnant women, and their families in 1995.
Together Head Start and Early Head Start have enrolled more than 24 million children and their families nationwide, enhancing children's health, nutritional, social, emotional, and intellectual development; assisting pregnant women to access comprehensive prenatal and postpartum care; supporting parents' efforts to fulfill their parental roles; and helping parents move toward self-sufficiency. Baltimore City was one of the first places where Head Start was initially implemented. Since 1965, Baltimore City Head Start Program (BCHS) has been administered through Baltimore City. The Mayor’s Office of Human Services (MOHS) currently serves as a direct grantee.
Baltimore City Head Start in partnership with two organizations, Dayspring Programs Inc., and Union Baptist Church, serves over 759 Head Start children (ages 3 – 5) in a total of 10 locations across Baltimore City, making it convenient for families to access care. (See our directory of Baltimore City Head Start Programs and sites). Our children are served in full-day options (more than 6 hours) throughout the year.
Baltimore City Head Start Program is dedicated to providing the highest quality comprehensive services with a continued commitment to excellence in child development and school readiness for pre-school children in low-income families in Baltimore City through the provision of educational, health, nutritional, social, emotional, and other services to enrolled children. The program also actively engages parents in their children's learning and development by supporting parents’ pursuit of their own educational, employment, parental, social, and other goals that lead ultimately toward self-sufficiency. Significant emphasis is placed on the involvement of parents in all areas of the program including leadership and advocacy. Qualified parents receive preference for employment vacancies.
Baltimore City Head Start strengthens families by providing a seamless delivery of family-focused, comprehensive services that ensure all eligible children, regardless of economic circumstances, have the opportunity for educational achievement and to have a happy and productive life.
Long-Term Goals (5-Year): 2014 – 2019
- BCHS will better serve the population of families and children from age three to age five.
- BCHS will leverage resources to offset flat and reduced funding at the federal and state levels.
- BCHS will significantly increase the number of children who are school-ready: To exceed the averages for Baltimore City, in the percentages of 4-year-old children who are considered “fully ready” for kindergarten and in the percentages of 3-year-old children who are considered “on track” to be ready.
Annual Objectives (2017 - 2018)
- To meet or exceed ERSEA standards
- To increase the support for and impact of our family & community engagement services
- To be a model for safety, preparedness, and advocacy for our families and community.
- To increase the support for and impact of our early education services
- To focus on record keeping & reporting systems to ensure accurate and timely data