Education

EDUCATION

Community Action Inc. of Central Texas Head Start is committed to providing the highest quality services to children and families. To this end, our center-based program uses a developmentally appropriate educational approach, grounded in accepted theories of how children grow and learn. Teachers create environments and offer experiences that build upon children’s interests; support children’s abilities and needs; include a range of adult-directed and child-initiated learning; and encourage children to work and explore independently. The Education Advisory Committee composed of Head Start parents; Policy Council officers; early childhood professionals from the university, local public schools, community; early intervention; and the early Education Team advise the program on the establishment of program goals for improving school readiness that are aligned with the Head Start Development and Early Learning Framework, Pre-K guidelines and Texas early learning standards as appropriate. The advisory committee also provides guidance on curriculum selection. The education team is composed of the Child Development Coordinators, Mental Health & Parent Education Coordinator, and the Disabilities & Behavior Coordinator. The team ensures the following education goals are carried out for our children:

  1. The capacity to form warm, loving relationships with adults and peers
  2. A healthy self-esteem and feelings of self-confidence
  3. The ability to control impulses and express emotions appropriately
  4. The ability to solve problems and ask questions
  5. A respect for understanding of the similarities and differences among people
  6. The ability to concentrate and persist on challenging tasks
  7. The ability to express imagination, creativity and curiousity and know the difference between fantasy and reality
  8. The ability to express ideas and feelings

Our classrooms are inclusive of children with disabilities; respectful of differences in gender, culture, language, ethnicity and family composition; and welcoming to parents. Our classrooms use the Scholastic “Big Day for PreK” Curriculum at each site except one that using the Pearson “Opening the World of Learning” (OWL) Curriculum. Parents are provided with information about the classroom curriculum both formally (e.g. in Parent Handbook or Parent Committee meetings) as well as through bi-weekly on-going parent-teacher communication forms, daily discussions during drop off and pick-up, and their own observations of their own children are a valued source of information in planning curriculum. An invitation for parents to join the teachers in curriculum planning is posted in each classroom with each classrooms respective planning date and time. Additionally, parents are invited to serve on the annual education advisory committee which meets at least once, but sometimes twice each year.

Teaching staff will use intentional instruction, agency adopted curriculum and on-going assessment and scaffold learning, documented through weekly lesson plans, and incorporate the 11 domains of the Head Start Child Development and Early Learning Framework for all children including children who are dual language learners and children with disabilities. The Child Development Coordinators work closely with teaching staff and center directors to create quality, safe learning environments and offer experiences that build upon children’s interests and support children’s abilities and needs to encourage children to work and explore independently. Child Development Coordinators also ensure Head Start Performance Standards and Texas State Licensing Minimum Standards for child care centers are understood and followed by staff. In addition, child development coordinators conduct.

Education Services Coordinator
Sadie Garza
(512)396-3395 Ext. 201
sgarzar@communityaction.com
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Resources

Head Start Framework
Early Head Start Framework
Parent, Family and Community Engagement Framework
National Center on Quality Teaching & Learning (NCQTL)
Child Care Licensing
CLASS
Colorin Colorado
Reading Rockets
Zero to Three
Center for Social Emotional Foundations for Early Learning
NAEYC
Texas Education Service Center