Purpose of the Program
The TTU Early Head Start Program is designed to serve families primarily from the Parkway/Cherry Point neighborhood in Lubbock, Texas. The original federal grant funded a program with forty participants in the two Components of the Program, Parents as Teachers – Home Based and Center Based. Since we opened we have received expansion money and now have 32 Center Based slots and 24 slots for pregnant mothers and Home Based participants for families that live in the Estacado High School attendance area. We also serve young parents at Estacado High School and New Directions Program for pregnant teens by providing parent education classes.
In the two Components of the Program, Early Head Start follows the appropriate standards as set by the:
- National Head Start Performance Standards
- Parents as Teachers Standards
- Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services-Child Care Licensing
- USDA Nutrition Program Guidelines
- NAEYC Developmentally Appropriate Practices
- Texas Tech University Policies
A copy of each of these standards is maintained in the EHS Center office. All EHS Staff members are expected to follow these standards as relevant to their position.
The program consists of three options:
- Center-based year-round early childhood program utilizing High-Scope curriculum. Two degreed teachers instruct in a classroom of eight children. Hours: 7:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
- Wrap-around care is provided through Child Care Services (CCS) from 2:30-5:30 p.m.
- Parents as Teachers (PAT) is a home-based program that provides support services for families. During weekly home visits, information on child development, parenting skills and individualized activities for parents and children are provided. Families in the program are also given monthly opportunities to meet with other Early Head Start families through group meetings. The Early Head Start center offers PAT families an area at the center complete with toys and games for use by children and parents. Home-based families are provided with the same services as center-based families, such as screenings and assistance with medical and dental care.
Philosophy & Vision
Early Head Start believes that children can reach their highest potential in an atmosphere of caring and respect that offers many opportunities to learn in ways that meet the needs of the individual child.
- Establish a supportive learning environment for children, parents, and staff. Value and promote the building of awareness, skills, and understanding.
- Recognize that the members of the Head Start community - children, families, and staff - have roots in many cultures. Work as a team and effectively promote respectful and proactive approaches to diversity.
- Families are empowered when families, governing bodies, and staff share the responsibility of program governance. Hear and respect the ideas and opinions of families.
- Embrace a comprehensive vision of health for children, families, and staff. Assure that basic health needs are met, encourage preventive health practices, and promote behaviors that enhance life-long well-being.
- Respect the importance of all aspects of individual development, including social, emotional, cognitive, and physical growth.
- Build a community in which each child and adult is respected as an individual while still belonging to the group.
- Foster relationships with the larger community to build a network of partners that respects families and staff.
- Develop a continuum of care, education and services that allows stable, uninterrupted support to children and families before, during and after their Head Start experience.
Long Term Benefits
The long term benefits of the Early Head Start program include:
- Children with increased language and communication skills
- Children with greater cognitive skills prior to entering public school
- Children with better social and emotional skills for solving problems
- A community which benefits from healthier, happier and more productive citizens
- Parental support for jobs, school or training
- Parents who advocate for their children
Documentation needed when applying:
- Address verification (utility bill)
- Proof of child’s age (birth certificate or birth facts)
- Social Security cards for parents (guardians) and child
- Income information