Every day, nearly one million preschool children across the country enter the doors of the local Head Start center and begin working, playing and learning their way toward success to kindergarten and in life. For more than 46 years, Head Start has served more than 28 million children and their families by promoting school readiness, educational, health, nutritional, social and other child development and family support services.
Macon Program for Progress Head Start (MPP) is beginning its 47th year and continues to serve the youngest children and their families in Macon County. In meeting the changing needs of families, MPP offers several program options. Early Head Start serves children before birth to age three, pregnant moms and a home base option. Regular Head Start serves children age three to five; 0-5 Extended Day is for parents who are working or enrolled in school and qualify for daycare subsidy; North Carolina Pre-K option is for eligible four-year-olds; and, based on space availability, an occasional private pay slot. MPP blends a myriad of funds that generates more than $4 million in funding to Macon County and provides jobs to approximately 125 employees. About 40 percent of those employees are either current or past Head Start parents.
A day filled with cooing babies, laughing toddlers, and excited young children ready to learn valuable school readiness skills, creates a positive experience for everyone involved. MPP Head Start strives for the highest quality of care for children and families and that is evident with the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) accreditation and North Carolina Division of Child Development 5 star licensing. Classrooms and administration are proud of their stateof the-art facilities. The program’s successful history is based on on-going community partnerships, visionary leadership, and dedicated staff. Parents, grandparents, foster parents, family members, governing board, community volunteers and other individuals also add to its overall program of excellence.
Yvette Sanchez Fuentes, director of Office of Head Start says it best in her media release to the White House, “Despite the challenges that often face our children and families, Head Start staff across the country provide a consistent, caring, and stimulating environment to meet the educational and developmental needs of a million Head Start children. Every Head Start classroom across the nation is filled with children with incredible promise. Our Head Start children and families deserve the highest quality services.”
Submitted by Glenda Sherman.