About LHSA

Purpose

The purpose of the Louisiana Head Start Association is to help agencies improve their services through trainings for administrators, teachers, transportation staff, nutrition staff and other staff members through specialized training opportunities and conferences: state-wide and locally. The improvement of All Head Start/Early Head Start organization is our primary goal. The Louisiana Head Start Association assist with supporting staff professional development, school readiness and promote positive family outcomes; through training and technical assistance.

Mission Statement

The Office of Head Start (OHS) advises the Assistant Secretary for Children and Families on issues regarding the Head Start program (including Early Head Start). The Office develops legislative and budgetary proposals; identifies areas for research, demonstration, and developmental activities; presents operational planning objectives and initiatives relating to Head Start to the Assistant Secretary for Administration for Children and Families; and oversees the progress of approved activities. OHS provides leadership and coordination for the activities of the Head Start program in the ACF Central Office including the Head Start Regional Program Units. The Office represents Head Start in inter-agency activities with other Federal and non-Federal organizations.

Early Head Start promotes healthy prenatal outcomes, enhances the development of infants and toddlers, and promotes healthy family functioning.

Program Description

The Head Start program provides grants to local public and private non-profit and for-profit agencies to provide comprehensive child development services to economically disadvantaged children and families, with a special focus on helping preschoolers develop the early reading and math skills they need to be successful in school. In FY 1995, the Early Head Start program was established to serve children from birth to three years of age in recognition of the mounting evidence that the earliest years matter a great deal to children’s growth and development.

Head Start programs promote school readiness by enhancing the social and cognitive development of children through the provision of educational, health, nutritional, social and other services to enrolled children and families. They engage parents in their children’s learning and help them in making progress toward their educational, literacy and employment goals. Significant emphasis is placed on the involvement of parents in the administration of local Head Start programs.

Early Childhood Development and Health

Head Start’s commitment to wellness embraces a comprehensive vision of health for children, families, and staff. The objective of Child Health and Development Services is to ensure that, through collaboration among families, staff, and health professionals, all child health and developmental concerns are identified, and children and families are linked to an ongoing source of continuous, accessible care to meet their basic health needs.

The objective of Education and Early Childhood Development is to provide all children with a safe, nurturing, engaging, enjoyable, and secure learning environment, in order to help them gain the awareness, skills, and confidence necessary to succeed in their present environment, and to deal with later responsibilities in school and in life. Each child is treated as an individual in an inclusive community that values, respects, and responds to diversity. The varied experiences provided by the program support the continuum of children’s growth and development, which includes the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development of each child.

Family and Community Partnerships

Grantee and delegate agencies must take affirmative steps to establish ongoing collaborative relationships with community organizations to promote the access of children and families to community services that are responsive to their needs, and to ensure that Early Head Start and Head Start programs respond to the community needs, including:

  • Health care providers, such as clinics, physicians, dentists and other health professionals;
  • Mental health providers;
  • Nutritional service providers;
  • Individuals and agencies that provide services to children with disabilities and their families;
  • Child protective services and any other agency to which child abuse must be reported under State or Tribal law;
  • Local Elementary schools and other educational and cultural institutions, such as libraries and museums, for both children and families;
  • Providers of child care services
  • Any other organizations or businesses that may provide support and resources to families.<form action

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