Head StartDoes the federally funded Head Start program live up to the promise in its name?

In an opinion piece for Reuters, Yasmina Vinci, executive director of the National Head Start Association, asks (and answers) the question "Does Head Start Work?" Head Start has both short-term and long-term goals: in the short term the objective is to prepare children to enter kindergarten but the program goes far beyond that because it wants to prepare them in such a way that the practices they learn in Head Start stay with them well after their elementary school years. Vinci cities a Health and Human Services Study that used more than forty years of "overwhelming evidence…that Head Start children benefit from the program throughout their lives."

Vinci discusses how Head Start programs not only make a difference in the lives of children; these programs also have positive effects on families and communities. The children make important gains in areas like identifying letters, math concepts, and interacting with peers, while parents who get involved tend to spend more time helping their children with reading. Later, some of these same children go on to own businesses and become productive members of their communities. She feels that Head Start deserves continued government support: "Head Start children have gone on to great things because of the early investments in their success…" and adds that, "…Head Start works but is only one of the investments required to support children throughout their early years."

Horizon Education Centers offers Head Start classrooms at all four Lorain County Horizon Centers: Elyria, East Lorain, Southside (Lorain) and South Elyria (LMHA Wilkes Villa). If you or someone you know has a child who would benefit from being enrolled in Head Start, you can use our Phone Directory to find a contact at the center that is closest to you.