Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Head Start Faces Changes

 

February 28, 2019

Dakota Kuhns / Western Nebraska Observer

Kimball Head Start kids pretend they're superheroes Tuesday during an organized activity.

Preparations are being made for the preschool to close May 22 at the Kimball Head Start campus.

Donna Jenne, director of ESU 13 Head Start Programs, thanked the Kimball community for its support as the program looks to make significant changes in the 2019-20 school year.

The school section of Head Start will close its doors, but funding for the programs will be used throughout the community in different ways, she said.

"The program supports the public school preschool and feels that Head Start should now focus efforts on a population that may not be receiving services in the Kimball area," Jenne said. "This population has been identified as prenatal mothers and children ages birth up to 3 years old."

"The Head Start Performance Standards mandate that a complete community assessment is done every 5 years for the program," she said. "The ESU 13 Head Start program completed this process last year and has been busy analyzing the results. The results of the community assessment show that there is a high need for home base education and services in this county."

"ESU 13 Head Start will no longer be providing preschool center base services in Kimball," she said. "The program will finish out this school year May 22, 2019, and transition to Home Base services.The goal is to provide Home Base services for prenatal mothers and children ages birth up to the age of 3 years old beginning in August 2019."

According to Jenne, the Home Base Program focuses on parents as the child's first teacher and consists of educational home visits that are guided by family need and availability. Each family receives a home visit on a weekly basis for an hour and a half, and prenatal mothers will attend visits that are approximately 45 minutes.

The home visits are facilitated by a skilled and compassionate home educator. Weekly home visits are a requirement of the program.

"The home educator will individualize with each child/family by utilizing items in the home, bringing in materials that they can use, and teaching developmentally appropriate practices that parents can complete at home with their child," Jenne said. "Weekly lessons include health, nutrition, special services, education and family services. Socialization activities are held two times per month where children and parents are given the opportunity to have interaction with their peers."

ESU 13 Head Start encourages all parents who have children that are age-eligible to attend preschool next year to attend the Kimball preschool registration. Information for Kimball preschool registration will be available during March from Kimball public schools.

 

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