Head Start is a comprehensive child development program which serves 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 young children in low-income families. The program involves the whole family through the four cornerstones of Head Start: child dvelopment, family partnerships, community partnerships, and staff. To learn more about Head Start, click on National Head Start Association (NHSA) to visit the web site.
Head Start was launched nationally in 1965. In 1968 SENCA began serving pre-school children and their families in six week summer programs in Richardson, Nemaha, Johnson, and Pawnee County. In 1970 SENCA Head Start began serving 18 children in Richardson County and 18 children in Nemaha County through a full-year program. Today we have a total of 156 enrollment slots serving children and their families in the counties of Nemaha, Otoe, Pawnee, and Richardson.
In addition to our interagency agreements for Special Education Services and Transition Services with the public schools in our service areas, we have collaborative agreements with many other agencies who serve children and families. In September 2000, SENCA Head Start began the first full-day/full-year program in Falls City. This program was aimed to service families with parents who work or go to school full-time.
Head Start placed the Falls City part-day, part-year program in a separate facility at 1715 Stone Street in September of 2001. Currently, the Falls City facility is located at 320 W 14th Street. At the same time, a new Nebraska City full-day/full-year program was opened at 1020 North 10th in Nebraska City. In 2009 the full-day/full year program made a move and is now located in the lower level of the Nebraska City Center for Children and Families at 917 Wildwood Lane, Suite M.
In 1989, SENCA purchased a house in Auburn to be used for the Auburn Head Start Pre-school. 1n 1993 Auburn received a grant for the Head Start facility and in 2005 renovations were made to the Pre-School that is located at 1806 O Street in Auburn. The collaboration with District 29 in 2010 will allow for additional children to be served in Auburn and the surrounding area starting with the 2010-2011 school year.
Partnerships with state funded pre-schools in the school districts of Auburn, Falls City, and Humboldt (HTRS), allow for Head Start eligible children to be served in those programs. The collaboration with District 29 took place in 2010 and has added nine slots to the Auburn, District 29 Pre-school, all of which are currently filled. The benefits of collaborating include: the cost benefits of sharing resources, the ability to serve additional children, the ability to better serve families with comprehensive services, and the additional knowledge from the best in their field working together to better serve the students and their families.
Income eligibility for participation in the Head Start program is based on the Federal Family Income poverty guidelines. Guidelines allow for 10% of our enrollment to be above the poverty income guidelines. At least 10% of the enrollment slots are reserved for children with special needs that meet all other criteria.
Questions? Please contact the Family Services Advocate (FSA) in your area.
1806 "O" Street
Auburn, NE 68305
|Stephanie Gerdes, Teacher/Center Manager
320 W 14th Street
Falls City, NE 68355
603 N 20th Street
Nebraska City, NE 68410
917 Wildwood Lane, Suite M
Nebraska City, NE 68410
Mary Jane Gist
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. If you are interested in learning more about these collaborative programs please contact the appropriate person as outlined below.
State Funded Preschools
Falls City Parent Child Center
HTRS Early Childhood Development Center