HOW TO Give Kids a Head Start

By Nora Heston Tarte

Did you know research shows that much of what people need to succeed in life is established before entering kindergarten?

From birth to age five, the human brain undergoes rapid development; it’s a period when a child builds cognitive skills—the foundation for reading, math, science, and academics—as well as character skills, social-emotional growth, gross-motor skills, and executive functioning, which includes everything from impulse control to problem solving.

Since its launch in 1965, the national Head Start program has supported low-income children and families with a comprehensive array of services designed to prepare children for school, giving them equal opportunity to the positive effects of early-learning experiences. Head Start has served more than 30 million children, including those within San Joaquin County.

Through the local branch—San Joaquin County Office of Education’s Head Start San Joaquin (HSSJ)—in partnership with local school districts and nonprofit organizations, Head Start  provides service to eligible children from birth to age five as well as pregnant women in San Joaquin County. Partners that provide direct services include:

-Child Abuse Prevention Council of San Joaquin County
-Creative Child Care, Inc.
-Lodi Unified School District 
-Stockton Unified School District

In supporting the foundation for school readiness in the early years, Head Start Partners strengthen families through comprehensive services, such as health and wellness services, social services, and disability services.

“The Child Abuse Prevention Council (CAPC) of San Joaquin County is committed to protecting the children of our community, strengthening families, and giving hope to those seeking to break the sometimes generational bonds of physical, verbal, sexual, and emotional abuse,” says Lindy Turner-Hardin, director of CAPC. “It’s a place where parents can learn to be better parents, children can heal from the wounds of abuse and neglect, and where families can improve their quality of life.”

For over 38 years, the CAPC has provided a wide range of services that address all forms of child abuse and is recognized as an innovator of new programs that speak to the changing nature of society and our community. The CAPC helps families do the heavy lifting of making significant life changes, with the help of direct services, that will ultimately provide better outcomes for children.

 “The services of The First Step Children’s Center are client-driven, giving the CAPC the ability to tailor the services to meet each family’s unique needs, resulting in a proven track record for protecting children and strengthening families,” Turner-Hardin says.

Serving children and families at multiple locations throughout San Joaquin County, CAPC Head Start and Early Head Start programs give children a head start on a successful future.

For More Information:
Child Abuse Prevention Council of San Joaquin County
540 N California St, Stockton
(209) 464-4524