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The Head Start / Early Head Start programs offered by Southern New Hampshire in Hillsborough and Rockingham Counties recently released its annual report for 2017/2018.

The report outlines the work done by the early childhood programs in the past year. The program has both rural and urban sites and provides program options including part-day Head Start, Head Start with wrap-around child care, center-based Early Head Start and home-based Early Head Start.SNHS has two classrooms funded through an Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership grant to increase the number of Early Head Start options in the community.

The combined Head Start/Early Head Start programs were funded to enroll a total of 550 children during 2016-2017: 432 in Head Start, 102 in Early Head Start and 16 through the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership. Actual, cumulative enrollment was 700 children, representing 642 families.Cumulative enrollment is inclusive of all enrollees who received services during the program year. Due to turnover more children may receive services than indicated by the funded enrollment numbers.

It is estimated that the program served approximately 14% of the income eligible children and families in the two-county service area.

The report contains detailed information about the family engagement activities offered as a cornerstone of the Head Start and Early Head Start programs. A variety of opportunities are offered for families to spend time in the classroom, attend family meetings, learn strategies to support their child’s learning and take on leadership roles.

The program was supported by the efforts of 775 individuals who volunteered during 2016-2017. Of this number, 375 were current or former Head Start parents.

Supporting the families’ efforts to keep their children healthy is another key component of the Head Start and Early Head Start programs. At the end of the program year, 98.7% of enrolled children had received a medical exam and 75.1% of enrolled children had received a dental exam.

The Head Start program focuses on school readiness and staff provides supports that enable children to be successful in the future. A number of specific goals address three facets of readiness: Engaging the families in the life-long success of their child; working together with local schools and working with families as their children transition from Head Start to kindergarten; and helping the children possess the skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary for success in school and for later learning and life. This includes all aspects of healthy development, including social, emotional, cognitive and physical development.The complete annual report is available on the Southern New Hampshire Services’ website.

Other information contained in the report includes the current and proposed program budget and information from a recently-completed community needs assessment.

Follow this LINK to download the entire 2017/2018 Head Start/Early Head Start annual report.

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