HEAD START / EARLY HEAD START
The District School Board of Pasco County is a Head Start / Early Head Start grantee. Through this federally funded grant, high quality early childhood services promoting school readiness are offered to enrolled children and families from pre-birth through age 5.
The Head Start program provides grants to local public and private non-profit and for-profit agencies to provide comprehensive child development services to economically disadvantaged children and families, with a special focus on helping preschoolers develop the early reading and math skills they need to be successful in school. In FY 1995, the Early Head Start program was established to serve children from birth to three years of age in recognition of the mounting evidence that the earliest years matter a great deal to children's growth and development. Head Start programs promote school readiness by enhancing the social and cognitive development of children through the provision of educational, health, nutritional, social and other services to enrolled children and families. They engage parents in their children's learning and help them in making progress toward their educational, literacy and employment goals. Significant emphasis is placed on the involvement of parents in the administration of local Head Start programs.
VOLUNTARY PREKINDERGARTEN (VPK)
VPK is a state funded early learning program designed to prepare children for success in kindergarten. Early Childhood Programs offers VPK during the school year to Head Start children as part of a blended funding model, which includes 540 hours of instruction. Eligible Pasco County children who do not participate in any school year VPK program have an opportunity to attend Summer VPK offered through Early Childhood Programs or private providers. For more information on VPK, contact the Early Learning Coalition at www.phelc.org