Head Start, both center-based and home-based applications, and Early Head Start form the core of YVY’s Early Learning Center. They serve more than 1,300 children. Both the Head Start and Early Head Start programs offer the core services associated with the program, including special needs screening and follow-ups, medical needs screening and tracking and other social service supports.
The federally funded center based Head Start program is full day (6-plus hours) and part day (3.5 hours). It services children three to five years old and is designed to give income-eligible children a quality preschool educational experience.
The curriculum is designed to nurture the development of the whole child in the social, emotional, linguistic, cognitive and physical domains in an environment which supports social and emotional development. Learning is child centered within the framework of teacher planning. Teachers work on language and literacy development, encouraging the ability to read and write fluently. Number concepts are taught at an age-appropriate level. Science, physical activity, social and emotional development, friendship and sharing, are all incorporated into the Head Start curriculum. Nutrition, health and safety are topics that are also integrated into the lesson plans as well as addressed directly.
To promote interaction and language use, YVY employs teachers who speak the children’s native language and offers literacy classes for the parents as well.
In accordance with the NYCDOH requirement, YVY hires teachers in the classrooms with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. In addition, each site must have at least one teacher with a NYS certificate in early childhood education. For the special needs children as per NYSDOE requirements YVY hires only professional educated and clinical staff to provide those services.
YVY utilizes curricula that are aligned with state developed K-12 academic content standards to improve school readiness into the public and private school systems.