Head Start provides for the healthy development of children and the strengthening of families through professional support. Working with almost 200 children annually and at no charge to qualified families, the program offers classroom style experiences for kids with a wide range of developmental needs. All classrooms are monitored by certified educators, and they strive to empower both children and parents with the ability to enrich their own lives as individuals and families, and in turn to enrich our community now and in the future.
Head Start is a Federal program for preschool children from low income families. Children attending Head Start participate in a variety of educational activities. They also receive medical and dental care, have healthy meals and snacks, and enjoy playing indoors and outdoors in a safe, secure, social setting.
HRDC Head Start serves 168 children, aged 3 to 5, and families in Park, Gallatin, and Meagher Counties.Currently we have classrooms in Gallatin Gateway, Belgrade, Livingston, and Bozeman. We also partner with daycare providers in Belgrade and Livingston.
Head Start’s goal is for all children to succeed and thrive. Head Start classrooms are organized to encourage early childhood development and academic growth incorporating time for free play, creative arts, meals and snacks, and socialization. Teachers individualize instruction for each child so that all students flourish. Additionally, services can be coordinated to meet the special needs of children with disabilities. The Head Start curriculum is designed to promote mental, physical, emotional, and social growth. Children learn how to get along with others, share, play cooperatively, and solve problems in addition to forming the academic foundations of later school success.
Head Start staff recognizes that parents are the first and most important teachers of their children. The staff encourages and welcomes each parent’s involvement in Head Start activities, and will work as partners to help each child progress. Our goal is to have each child and their caregivers leave Head Start prepared for kindergarten, excited about learning, and ready for success.
Head Start staff members have expertise in early childhood development, social services, nutrition, mental and physical health, and disabilities. In partnership with parents and the communities, we facilitate school readiness for children, and foster independence and personal responsibility for low income families. We strive to deliver the highest quality, comprehensive, seamless services based on community needs.
If you think your child and family would enjoy participating in Head Start, please click here to download the application.
Head Start Policy Council
Head Start is governed by a Policy Council, an Advisory Group consisting of Head Start parents and community members that actively participate in decisions and discussions that affect Head Start. Each year, classroom elections are held to vote in one Representative and one Alternate to represent each Head Start classroom on the Policy Council. Each Policy Council member has a voice in making policies and procedures that affect their child’s Head Start experience. Active members discuss and decide personnel issues, budget planning, implementation of policies, and funding applications.