"All of our children have so much potential. All of our children deserve a chance at life."
- Joe Baca
Dayspring is a Head Start delegate agency providing services to 584 children ages three to five year in 18 classrooms at 8 sites.
Head Start originated in the 1960’s as part of an effort to combat poverty in America by providing pre-school children with a range of services. Head Start approaches the “whole” child and the family by providing education, health, social services and parent-community involvement.
The Head Start model is a comprehensive one, providing wide-ranging educational and socio-emotional support to low-income children and families in Baltimore City. Head Start nurtures children in social competence through an early childhood and family development program in a strength-based model which promotes healthy development in young children.
Head Start empowers families. To assure competence and long-term developmental effects, parents and community members are recruited and involved as partners. The core belief of Head Start is that parents are their children’s greatest resource. Parents are encouraged to become involved on every level of their children’s program. Head Start's emphasis on parental involvement contributes to positive growth and the upward mobility of Head Start parents by helping to move them out of poverty.
There are four major components to Head Start:
- Education: Providing a variety of learning experiences to help children grow intellectually, socially, and emotionally.
- Health: Providing health services such as immunizations, dental, medical, and mental health, and nutritional services, and early identification of health problems.
- Parent Involvement: Involving parents in the planning and implementation of activities. Parents serve on policy councils and committees that make administrative decisions; participate in classes and workshops on child development; and volunteer in the program.
- Social Services: Providing outreach to families to determine what services they need.