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The health of Head Start children is one of our primary concerns. We provide a comprehensive health service program which includes preventive screenings and exams such as, immunizations, EPSDT physical exams, vision and hearing screenings, as well as developmental and mental health screenings. We work closely with families to ensure they identify a medical support service within the community to give them access accessible, continuous, comprehensive, family centered medical care for years to come.
Oral Health Services
Head Start takes a very active role in dental preventive services and promoting oral health care by working with our children and families to emphasize the importance of establishing good oral health habits at an early age and maintaining them throughout life. Children receive a yearly comprehensive dental exam, including fluoride application. Children and their parents are educated in effective dental hygiene practices, including age and development level of the child and their ability to clean their teeth properly, and recommended dental frequency. Oral health education is completed by staff, and outside collaborative agencies through workshops throughout the year.
A critical part of Head Start’s role is focused on nutrition. We provide our children with two-thirds of their daily nutritional needs, which is important not only for their health and well-being but for their intellectual and social development. Many children living in poverty are facing malnourishment, hunger, or can be overweight and/or obesity. Head Start offers nutritious, ethnically diverse and child-friendly food through a state of the art food service program.
Head Start volunteers play a crucial and active role in children’s health and welfare by offering their time and professional services to help ensure each child receives the education, treatment, and support that will lead them to a healthy and fulfilling life.
- Head Start children are at least eight percentage points more likely to be current with their immunizations than their kindergarten peers.
- Studies demonstrate that by providing health and dental services to children and families, Head Start health programs improve the overall well-being of the children and families who otherwise might not have access to such health care.
Information compiled from www.acf.hhs.gov.