Emanuel County Early Head Start Serves Low-income Local Families
Early Head Start is the federally-funded program which provides services to infants and toddlers from birth to age three and their families and pregnant women in Emanuel County at no cost. The overarching goal of the program is to help families meet educational and/or work goals and become self-sufficient. Income eligibility is based on the federal poverty guidelines which are updated annually. Families who are homeless, eligible for TANF and SSI, and children in foster care are eligible without income restrictions.
Full year center-based services are provided to 48 infants and toddlers from six weeks of age to age three by caregivers trained in infant and toddler caregiving. Eight infants and toddlers are assigned to each classroom which is supervised by two caregivers. Seven pregnant teens are provided on-site services at the local high school and middle school. Teen mothers graduate from high school, and parents/guardians work and attend school and job training programs while their infants and toddlers receive quality care from trained staff in an educational environment.
Each child’s planned daily activities are based on the Georgia Early Learning and Development Standards (GELDS) and the new Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework. All children receive ongoing assessment and screenings to monitor their progress in meeting developmental goals, and assessment results are shared with parents. On-site mental health services are provided by a licensed mental health professional.
Many parent engagement activities are provided throughout the year, including the opportunity for parents to check out children’s books from classroom lending libraries and attend parenting workshops with a focus on family literacy.
The program’s emphasis on school readiness includes training sessions and opportunities for parents to identify school readiness goals for their children. Children with disabilities are identified and provided on-site services by Babies Can’t Wait, Georgia’s early intervention program which serves children from birth to age three.
The Emanuel County Board of Education is the fiscal agent for the Early Head Start program which is located in the new Early Learning Center adjoining Swainsboro Primary School at 308 Tiger Trail. For more information call 478-237-3434 or the Emanuel County Board of Education at 478-237-6674.