Head Start

Education and Early Childhood Development Services

Head Start Logo

Children participate in a variety of age-appropriate learning experiences to foster intellectual, social, emotional and physical growth. Input from parents and results of ongoing child assessment are used to individualize the program for each child. Staff members receive training in effective curriculum implementation and ongoing child assessment. Information on children's progress is shared with families three times a year during home visits and parent-teacher conferences.

Curriculum used by Champaign County Head Start/Early Head Start

  • The Creative Curriculum developed by Diane Trister Dodge
  • "The Project Approach" developed by Dr. Lilian Katz. A project is defined as an in-depth investigation of a topic worth learning more about.
  • Conscious Discipline – a philosophy developed by Becky Bailey that emphasizes teachers building a positive relationship with every child in their classroom. Teachers are taught to focus on positive solutions rather than negative strategies when dealing with challenging behaviors.

Screening and Ongoing Assessment conducted by Champaign County Head Start/Early Head Start

  • Children receive developmental screening and ongoing-assessments
  • After an initial assessment, staff assess children’s progress three times each year
  • Individual child profiles contain:
    • Observation records
    • Portfolios of child’s work
    • Child Progress Reports shared with parents during home visits and parent-teacher meetings
  • About 93% of children leaving for kindergarten in 2011 were assessed to be kindergarten-ready

School Readiness Act of December 2007

The Office of Head Start identified 12 areas of revision in the 2007 reauthorization of Head Start/Early Head Start:

  • Definitions
  • Monitoring
  • Program Options
  • Revising Performance Standards
  • Outcomes Measures
  • Requirements for Collaboration/Coordination
  • Grantee Administration, Management & Governance
  • Staff Qualifications
  • Grantee Designation
  • Funding Formulas
  • Target Population
  • Studies


NAEYC – National Association for the Education of Young Children