Over 90% of brain development occurs in the first few years of life. From birth to age 5, a child’s cognitive abilities and social-emotional skills develop rapidly. It is important that young children are provided with the resources to become happy, successful adults.
Community Action Council offers several early childhood education programs for children from birth through age five and their families, including pregnant women. The Council serves hundreds of children throughout Central Kentucky each year. Our programs address each child’s unique needs to give them the strongest possible foundation for success later in life.
All of our Prep Academies and community partners actively collaborate with children’s families. We recognize the vital role the family plays as a child’s first teacher, caregiver and advocate. A child cannot be served in isolation from their family members.
Therefore, the Council takes a “whole-family” approach to child development. We support parents and other family members in efforts to increase their health and safety as well as pursue their career and life goals. Strengthening the family is critical for breaking the generational cycle of poverty and improving a child’s chance of success.
With some exceptions, our programs operate from 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM in the Central Kentucky Area.
Head Start provides comprehensive child development services to income-eligible children and families in Fayette, Harrison, Nicholas, and Scott counties. Head Start serves children ages 3 through 5. All children enrolled in Head Start benefit from a stimulating learning environment and individualized instruction. The curriculum encourages children to develop their communication, critical thinking, literacy and problem-solving skills in addition to their physical abilities. Head Start also provides integrated health services and engagement opportunities for parents and other family members.
Early Head Start
Early Head Start serves children from birth to age 3 and their families in Bourbon, Fayette, Harrison, Nicholas, and Scott counties. The program provides infants and toddlers a foundation for future growth and learning by promoting their cognitive, physical and social-emotional development. Early Head Start staff work alongside family members to assist them in supporting the child’s development and in achieving self-sufficiency. Services are offered in either a home-based or center-based model.
Through its home-based service model, the Early Head Start program also serves eligible pregnant women through the duration of their pregnancy and post-natal period (up to 6 weeks). Services for these women include consultations and referrals for concerns such as fetal development, nutrition during pregnancy, labor and delivery, postpartum depression, breastfeeding and infant care. When the child reaches 6 weeks of age, their family may continue in the home-based model or transition to the center-based model, depending on need and availability.
South Central Head Start
South Central Head Start provides Head Start and Early Head Start services for income-eligible children and families in Clark, Estill, Garrard, Jackson, Laurel, Madison, Powell, and Rockcastle counties. Like Head Start and Early Head Start, the South Central Head Start program is designed to provide children with a foundation for future growth and learning while helping their families achieve self-sufficiency.
Migrant and Seasonal Head Start
Migrant and Seasonal Head Start provides Head Start and Early Head Start services to the children of migrant and seasonal farm workers. Migrant and Seasonal Head Start serves children from birth through age 5 and their families. The program is equipped to serve dual-language learners with a full range of child development and family services. Staff work alongside families to ensure that the learning environment is culturally and linguistically appropriate for all children. The program operates from April through December.
Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership (EHS-CCP)
Through the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership, the Council partners with established child development facilities and local school districts in Fayette and Scott counties to deliver high-quality early childhood education and family engagement services. This partnership helps to reduce teacher-child ratios and allows our credentialed staff members to provide each child with the individualized attention they need.