head start and ECEAP

Our Head Start and Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) classes offered comprehensive, high-quality preschool education for 563 children in 2011 and support services for their families.

Through long-term partnerships, we were able to offer programming in four locations throughout the Kent School District (KSD): Kent Family Center in the KCHA Birch Creek community, and the education buildings
of Panther Lake Community, Holy Spirit, and Kent Lutheran Churches.

The overall achievement rate was 95%, with all subgroups of children meeting the criteria for achievement in all areas of outcome measurements. In analyzing the impact of the program on children who attended for two years, they started the program at a higher level of skills in the fall with more of these children reaching the proficient skill level in the spring compared to those who attended only one year. This suggests that the programs contributed to the skill development beyond what would be expected from typical development. Two to three children in each classroom start off the year with behavior concerns, however over half of those children appear typical at the end of the year. With our strong partnership with the KSD, the children that continued to display behavior and developmental concerns were referred to the school district’s Special Education Department and received services under an IEP (Individual Education Plan) to support their identified needs, with these services continuing as they transition into Kindergarten. In September, the start of the 2011-2012 school year, our Head Start and ECEAP teachers began using the state-adopted, Teaching Strategies GOLD early learning assessment system as a tool to record and analyze each child’s growth and development, encouraging teachers to plan lessons to meet the particular developmental needs. As part of an effective transitional process this data can be shared across grades from pre-school through third grade. We are excited to have a system to obtain real-time data on each child, allowing staff and parents to partner in providing effective learning opportunities in the classroom, at home and in the community that will support each child’s growth in preparation for Kindergarten.