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Monterey County Office of Education

Leadership, Support and Service to Prepare All Students for Success

Dr. Nancy Kotowski, County Superintendent of Schools

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CHILD DEVELOPMENT SERVICES 

Assistant Director: Anabel Garcia

Phone: 831.784.4200

Early childhood education services are delivered through several different program options, including half-day and full-day services. A lead teacher, assistant teacher, foster grandparent and parent volunteers staff each classroom. Head Start Performance Standards require that the early childhood classroom program be developmentally and culturally appropriate for children and for families enrolled. In addition, parent education activities are provided to help parents support their children's development and education.

The Head Start program is based on the premise that children share common needs, and that children from low-income families in particular, can benefit from a comprehensive developmental program to meet those needs. Head Start is a family oriented, comprehensive, and community based program to address developmental goals for children, support for parents in their work and child-rearing roles, and linkage with other service delivery systems.

The Head Start philosophy rests on four basic principles:

  • A child can benefit from a comprehensive, interdisciplinary program to foster normal development and remedy problems;
  • Parents are the primary educators of their children and must be directly involved in the program;
  • The well being of the children is inextricably linked to the well being of the entire family; and
  • Partnerships with other agencies and organizations in the community are essential to meeting family needs.

FOSTER GRANDPARENT PROGRAM 

Foster grandparents are placed with children in Head Start classrooms. The grandparents work four hours per day, five days per week, and receive a stipend from the Foster Grandparent Program. They are considered Head Start volunteers and provide volunteer in-kind hours for the program. www.seniorscouncil.org

HEALTH & SAFETY SERVICES

Coordinator: Álvaro Suárez

Phone: (831) 755-0845 

Health is an intricate part of the Head Start program. All children must have their basic needs met before they can be ready to learn and develop appropriately. The MCOE Head Start &  Early Head Start Program provides basic health services support for all children enrolled. Each child receives health and dental screenings, referral, and necessary dental work. Healthy children learn better.  When children go to the doctor and dentist regularly, and have healthy bodies, teeth, and gums, they feel and listen better.  So it's no wonder that healthy children develop healthy minds!  That's one reason why Head Start and Early Head Start Programs pay so much attention to a child's physical health, as well as, his or her educational progress.  In fact, that is why our staff spend much of their time:

  • Evaluating each child's special medical concerns.
  • Helping families find doctors and dentists, as well as other health specialists and community health organizations.
  • Answering questions about health insurance.
  • Providing classroom support for children with special medical needs.
  • Collecting information on recent medical and dental visits.
  • Reminding families about upcoming exams and overdue appointments.

FOOD AND NUTRITION SERVICES 

Coordinator: Sandra Ortega

Phone: 831.755.0360

Nutritionist: Anjani Advani

 

Head Start's child nutrition services assists families in meeting each child's nutritional needs while establishing good eating habits that nurture healthy development and promote life-long well-being. We ensure that menus reflect cultural and ethnic preferences and comply with Head Start, Department of Agriculture, and Health and Human Services recommendations and requirements.  A nutritionist is available to assess the child's health-related nutritional status. A nutritional plan and counseling session with parents is provided to assist children who are over or underweight, under height, or anemic.

In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W. Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice and TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. 

MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES

Coordinator: Gloria Quintero

Telephone: 831.755.0355

Mental Health Services

Because the mental and physical health of infants and toddlers is critically influenced by the daily behaviors of their caregivers, our goal is to apply our knowledge of personal, family, and social relationships to support and enhance healthy social and emotional development.

 

Isabel Valtierra.bmpFAMILY & COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AND DISABILITIES SERVICES

Coordinator: Isabel Valtierra

Phone: 831.755.0357 

Community Engagement

Our community partnerships help to complete and complement the quality services which Head Start provides. All Head Start programs are funded 80% by the federal government to provide services to children and families. Each Head Start program is required to generate 20% matching non-federal funds in in-kind contributions. This means we rely on donated services from local community members and partner organizations.

Family Engagement
All participating families develop a personal Family Partnership Agreement with assistance from Family Services Advocates. This agreement describes family goals, responsibilities, timetables, and strategies for achieving these goals, as well as tracking progress in achieving them. This collaborative partnership occurs early in the enrollment process and builds mutual trust over time. An initial home visit begins the relationship with each Head Start family. Teachers and Family Services Advocates jointly visit the home of all enrolled families to begin an assessment of their needs. Head Start coordinates with other programs to support the accomplishment of goals in their pre-existing plan.

Disabilities Services

Head Start serves children with special needs throughout the County in partnership with MCOE Special Education and with the local school districts. This ensures children with special needs have the opportunity to receive educational services at regular Head Start classrooms with the appropriate support according to their specific needs. A minimum of 10% of all children enrolled must be children with special needs. 

The teachers perform multiple developmental screenings and assessments periodically during the year for early detection of learning problems.  The Mental Health and Disabilities Services Coordinator ensures that every child with special needs has an Individualized Education Plan that covers the child's needs and that services are provided in a regular and timely manner. We encourage parent participation in the development of the Individualized Education Plan and help the parents to become partners in the provision of services for their children. 

DADS IN ACTION PROGRAM

Coordinator: Alvaro Suarez
Phone: 831.755.0845

Parent Liaison: Victor Almazan
Phone: 831.755.0846

The purpose of the Dads in Action Program is to provide parent education via a series of workshops and presentations for fathers. The weekly workshops provide training for fathers on child development, brain development, parenting skills, and early literacy techniques such as story-telling, songs, and book-making. The program is offered in a culturally and linguistically relevant manner and fathers are provided with strategies that meet their unique needs.

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