About Head Start
Yeled v'Yalda's Head Start program supports children aged three to five in reaching their full potential by providing a safe and nurturing environment that fosters and enriches their growth and development. Our stimulating learning environment equips children with the skills and confidence needed to thrive within their Head Start classroom. We use an evidence- and research-based curriculum with individualized lesson plans designed to meet the needs of each child, emphasizing the inclusion of children with special needs. Our program focuses on both generations - parents and children - promoting family enrichment and economic mobility by engaging parents in their child's learning and development, and by assisting families in achieving their educational, literacy, employment, socio-economic, health, and life goals. We provide parents with the tools, support, and services needed to partner with Yeled v'Yalda, helping their children flourish throughout preschool, grade school, and beyond.
Yeled v'Yalda's Head Start program encourages school readiness by nurturing the holistic development of each child. We offer a variety of services, including early learning, health, and family well-being, within a positive learning environment. Our center-based program is tailored to the needs of the local community and encompasses not only early childhood programs but also health, social services, and parent-engagement initiatives. Recognizing parents as their children's primary and essential teachers, we equip them with the knowledge and tools to provide high-quality early learning experiences and foster secure, stable parent-child relationships. We believe that substantial positive change occurs in the lives of children when their families are actively involved in their development. Ongoing evaluation at the family and community levels allows us to continually refine our program to better serve all families and children. Additionally, we value and promote each family's culture and home-language development while simultaneously working on English language acquisition.
Head Start’s Developmental Framework
Yeled v'Yalda is committed to supporting children in advancing across all developmental domains outlined in Head Start's "Early Learning Outcomes Framework" (ELOF). These domains include learning, social-emotional, language and literacy, cognition, perceptual, motor, and physical development. This framework prepares children for success in kindergarten as part of the Head Start program's "School Readiness Goals Initiative." We employ the research-based "Creative Curriculum" and various screening and assessment tools to ensure that each child, regardless of disability, can achieve maximal growth and success. We place a strong emphasis on fostering successful teacher-child interactions within the classroom, which research has shown to be an indicator of school readiness.
Exceptional Record of Performance
Yeled v'Yalda takes great pride in the outstanding quality of our Head Start program, as evidenced by our superior outcomes in the 2020 Focus Area One Review conducted by the Administration for Children and Families. This review highlighted our achievements in all performance areas, identifying zero concerns, deficiencies, or areas requiring improvement. Our program's exceptional quality is also demonstrated by our consistently successful child outcomes data across all domains, particularly in school-readiness goals. We are proud of various other agency recognitions and achievements, including our robust network of community partnerships and collaborations; our impeccable history of securing and maintaining facility licensure; our NAEYC Early Learning Program Accreditation; our high-quality STARS ratings from New York State's Quality Rating & Improvement System for early childhood programs; and our prestigious Outstanding Early Childhood Award from the NYS Education Department's Office of School Improvement and Community Services.
Yeled v'Yalda's Head Start program serves nearly 1,500 children, providing education and child development services within a classroom setting, along with family home-visits at least twice per year. The majority of our classrooms are located in licensed childcare facilities partnering with our program to deliver Head Start services. Each classroom is staffed with fully qualified teachers or caregivers, supervised by an education director, and supported by assistant teachers or caregivers and family-service workers. A significant advantage of Yeled v'Yalda's center-based Head Start program is the provision of high-quality childcare and exceptional educational services in a setting that supports parents' ability to work.
Our Head Start program also offers a unique option for over 70 children who are home-bound and unable to attend a center-based program due to severe and/or chronic illness. Yeled v'Yalda provides a full range of Head Start services through weekly home visits to each child and their family. Our program delivers child-focused sessions that enhance parents' ability to support their child's growth and development. We also offer opportunities for parents and children to interact with other families, participating in group learning, discussions, and social activities.
Head Start General Curriculum
Yeled v'Yalda's Head Start "Creative Curriculum" incorporates "Teaching Strategies GOLD" (TSG), an assessment system that monitors the 38 measurable objectives aligned with the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework (ELOF). Teachers consistently document data, including examples of children's academic work and descriptions of their progress and development. TSG checkpoints occur three times per year (fall, winter, and spring), allowing teachers to review progress and performance, ensuring each child is accurately recorded in the appropriate color band and level. At each checkpoint, individual child reports, class profile reports, and class snapshot reports are generated. Teachers can then use the ongoing monitoring and assessment results to plan for the class as a whole and individually for each child. These assessment results reflect a child's progress and highlight future areas of focus, enabling teachers to plan activities that address appropriate learning goals for all children and link teaching and assessment to support the highest quality education.
Head Start Special Education Services
Children and families in Yeled v'Yalda's Head Start program greatly benefit from our in-house partnerships that cater to their needs. Our special education and Early Intervention services allow us to provide comprehensive, child-specific support to children with disabilities across all sites and locations. Our services include multi-disciplinary evaluations, special education, and related services such as speech-language pathology, occupational therapy, physical therapy, counseling, and Early Intervention. Teachers or school disabilities coordinators participate in IEP meetings whenever possible to ensure the child's needs are met and support parents in advocating for their children. Disabilities coordinators at each site coordinate services for children with disabilities, are trained in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and assist the child and family through the Head Start process. Disabilities coordinators are sensitive to and familiar with the cultures and languages of the families they serve.
Parent & Family Engagement & Involvement
Yeled v'Yalda understands the value of parent and family involvement in ensuring the success of children's early education. Collaboration between parents, teachers, and other professionals helps build positive, goal-oriented relationships that enable children to progress in their educational pursuits. A strong partnership between families and professionals allows children to benefit from the unique perspectives and experiences each party has to offer, creating a team atmosphere in which all participants are united in achieving each child and family's individual goals. Yeled v'Yalda's program staff partners with families and communities to prioritize inclusiveness, ensuring that all cultures and languages are valued and respected. Our family engagement goals support building and fostering key family relationships and interactions, including those of expectant women and their families, as well as parents, grandparents, siblings, and other adult caregivers in a child's life. This process is based on an ongoing partnership between families and Head Start staff and professionals that recognizes and respects the parent-child relationship as crucial to a child's growth and well-being in school, at home, and throughout life.
Yeled v'Yalda's family workers introduce families to the Head Start program. They receive ongoing supervision from the Parent, Family and Community Engagement Coordinator (PFCE). A critical component of our work with families is the establishment of an individualized Family Partnership Agreement (FPA). The FPA identifies strengths and weaknesses, creates goals and priorities, and establishes timetables and strategies towards achieving the family's goals, ultimately aiming for self-sufficiency. The goals outlined in the FPA align with the seven outcomes of the Head Start Parent, Family, and Community Engagement (PFCE) framework.
Yeled v'Yalda emphasizes both education and prevention. Regularly scheduled workshops provide parents with preventive coping strategies and services, and we offer 24/7 teleconferences on various topics to accommodate working parents. Our parent education effort includes a focus on increasing father involvement in daily child-rearing. We offer "Focus on Father" workshops and opportunities for fathers to engage with their children in the school setting. Nutritional education and services are also a primary focus of Yeled v'Yalda's Head Start program. We believe that optimal nutrition contributes to a healthy lifestyle, and we provide a range of services to educate parents on maximizing their child and family's overall health and nutrition.
How to Enroll
For inquiries, additional information, or to request an application for Yeled v'Yalda's Head Start program, please contact Mrs. Judy Greenfeld at 718.686.2400.