Head Start Partners with Childcare Facilities in Fayetteville

Action Pathways took a moment to celebrate Early Head Start - Child Care Partnership staff located in childcare facilities in Cumberland County late last week. As the result of a five-year grant from the Office of Head Start, under the Office for the Administration of Children & Families, the Action Pathways Early Head Start program was able to expand its efforts into six different childcare facilities, expanding its reach to more than 200 children to date.DSC_0538.JPG

“This is our second year in our partnership” explains Cynthia Walker, Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership Assistant Manager. “For a long time Head Start and child care facilities have always been separate yet, we have similar goals. That is, to provide a safe place for children where they are able to grow and thrive in preparation for public school.”   

The partnership between Early Head Start and local childcare facilities stems from the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership funding made available through congressional appropriations. In 2016, $635,000,000 was designated to the Office of Head Start for year-two of the federal effort to enhance service delivery, standards and impacts of childcare facilities in high-risk areas. At-risk children in these areas are able to receive the best possible early development education necessary to propel them into a lifetime of success. 

Through Action Pathways Head Start’s partnership with local childcare facilities, Early Head Start is able to share best practices, promote professional development among staff, help purchase critical equipment and build new playgrounds. Early Head Start classroom teachers at these proxy locations DSC_0530.JPGare held to federally mandated Head Start Performance Standards, making it compulsory for them to participate in professional development training, such as, Child Development Accreditation (CDA) and initiating parent engagement through participation in the Policy Council. The Policy Council is a requirement of Head Start Performance Standards which affords parents the opportunity to make important decisions such as the hiring of staff; approval of grant applications; the ability to network with other parents and community members, as well as; the ability to learn and acquire the tools to become advocates for their children throughout their lifetime.

September 5th will begin year-three of this effort to enhance early childhood development work for children in high-risk areas. Action Pathways is, once again, doing all that it can to build this community, and empower individuals, starting all the way from birth.

For more information on the Office of Head Start, please visit: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/ohs

To learn more about Action Pathways Head Start, how to enroll your child, and any other questions, please here or call (910) 487 – 9800