SENCA Head Start is a comprehensive developmental program for low-income preschool children from age 3 to 5 and their families. This is a child-focused program and has the overall goal of increasing the school readiness of the participating children. The program involves the whole family through the four cornerstones of Head Start; child development, family partnerships, community partnerships, and staff development . Head Start offers a range of diverse services for a total of 156 children and their families in Richardson, Nemaha, Pawnee, and Otoe Counties. Services include but are not limited to: Health and Nutrition, Education, Parent Involvement, and Social Services. SENCA Head Start also works collaboratively with local State-funded preschools to ensure that all Head Start eligible children in the area receive early childhood education services. The State –funded preschools provide educational services to children and the Head Start program provides all other Head Start services to families. Head Start Collaboration Sites include: HTRS School, Falls City Parent/Child Center, Auburn Public School.
The SENCA Youth Mentoring program was started in 2004 at the HTRS public school and later expanded to other area schools including Auburn and Falls City. The Youth Mentoring Program was implemented by Lisa McNealy Schaardt who worked with Head Start for 12 years prior to her death in November of 2007. The Youth Mentoring Program pairs up middle and high school students with a Head Start child and is mutually beneficial because older students gain a sense of usefulness, importance and responsibility while Head Start students gain a friend and a role model.