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Head Start options expand to better serve families

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Every parent wants the best for their child and giving children a great start in life begins with Head Start. CCRC’s award-winning program is now enrolling and this year, parents have more flexible options.

For the first time, CCRC Head Start will offer year-round services in some of our center-based settings. Along with an extended school year, families will also have an option for extended day programs.

“We’re going to continue preschool services and continue to increase infant and toddler services because we know there’s a greater need there,” says CCRC Head Start Director Betty Zamorano-Pedregon. “There just isn’t enough center based care for infants and toddlers. This is the first time we’re offering 12 months in center-based settings, but that’s the direction we need to go. Our target is that in the next three years, all our classrooms will be offering a longer day – a minimum 10 hours – and a full year.”

Expanded access is just one of the many ways Head Start is evolving to meet the needs of family. The program also includes early education, health and nutrition, socialization, medical checkups, family supports, and more.

“We offer care in our centers, we offer care with family child care providers, in private centers, home visits in families’ homes, and services to pregnant women,” said Zamorano-Pedregon. “We look at our community assessment and answer the call of our families. We’re also opening more spaces in Palmdale and Lancaster because that is where there is more demand.”

At a recent crossing the bridge ceremony, where Head Start children complete the program to move on to kindergarten, families shared how much they’ve seen their children grow.

“After COVID-19, kids weren’t ready for [the classroom] and the staff did an amazing job,” said Gayane Gajardyan, a mom of a Head Start child. “How they handled, especially my son who wasn’t an easy boy, was amazing. He loved it, doesn’t want to change school, wants to stay here.”

“He was so attached to me and he grew his independence coming to Early Head Start,” said Aime Enriquez, a mother of a Head Start child. “And he learned how to count to ten and his letters. It’s amazing, he can take all that knowledge to the next school year.”

Families are invited to register their children for the upcoming school year by visiting our information Head Start page.

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