Head Start - SMILE Community Action Agency
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Head Start

Perhaps one of the greatest social programs of recent years, Head Start provides a program for 1,228 preschool children, ages 3-5. Includes social competence in health, educational, social and nutritional activities. Also offers disability services for children, and provides special needs for them so that they can interact and assimilate in the learning environment. In addition, the program provides training and technical assistance to the staff and parents to better prepare them to achieve the overall goals and objectives of Head Start. This includes workshops and college credit courses in Early Childhood Development.

Early Head Start

Provides comprehensive early childhood development and family support services on a year-round basis for 264 children, age 0-3, and pregnant women in order to enhance children’s physical, social, emotional and intellectual development. Also supports parents in fulfilling their parental roles, and helps parents move toward self-sufficiency. The program is interwoven with Head Start, and offers the same support system.

Annual Report

School Readiness: SMILE staff attended training on school readiness. According to literature provided to the staff, the key is to establish school readiness program goals, which include social, emotional, cognitive and physical development goals. This is accomplished through ongoing assessment of children’s progress. The results of the assessment, conducted by staff, parents and children, will be used to individualize children’s progress.

School readiness training also includes providing a research-based curriculum, abiding by State Early Learning Standards, and understanding Local Education Agencies (LEAs), the local school systems in St. Martin, Iberia and Lafayette Parishes.

Also, to prepare its children for kindergarten, SMILE aligns its curriculum with the LEAs. SMILE teachers are provided in-service training by the tri-parish kindergarten teachers in both Fall and Spring.

Enrollment: In Head Start, SMILE served 1,505 children with an average monthly enrollment of 100%. Some 100% of the eligible children were served. In Early Head Start, SMILE served 216 children and families.

Medical/Dental Screenings: Some 93% of Head Start children and 100% of Early Head Start children received medical exams. Some 92% of Head Start children received dental exams. Early Head Start children are not required to undergo dental screenings.

Parental Involvement Activities: Parent activities include parent orientation/pre-socialization. The Head Start/Early Head Start Program also provides parent “Read to Me” literacy activities. Other activities include “Breakfast with Dads,” “Thanksgiving with Dads,” “Pumpkin Carving Activity” and “Celebrate Christmas.” The Program also provides tuition assistance for qualifying parents so that they continue their education and advance their career opportunities. In addition, the Program provides a computer lab to assist parents at one of its Centers in Iberia Parish. Parent activities also include providing learning materials for Early Head Start parents.

Budgetary Expenditures/Proposed Budget: The SMILE Head Start budget expenditures are line-items necessary for operation of the program. They include Personnel, Fringe Benefits, Travel, Equipment, Supplies, Contractual, Construction and Other. The Agency’s budget include funds for Head Start and Early Head Start. It also includes Training & Technical Assistance for both. SMILE is also required to match the budget with non-federal funds.

Smile Community Action