What's the difference between Head start and Preschool?

Question:I have a 3 year old I want to enroll.

Headstart is a Federally Funded program for economically disadvantaged children. It is based on the parent/guardian's income. Ages range from 3-5.

Preschool is for 3- and 4- year olds. It is mainly in the private sector (some states have public preschools but not all of them)

Kindergarten is for 5-year-olds. It can be private or public. There is usually a cut off date for enrollment which varies from state to state.
Head Start is only for 'low income' families.
Preschool facilities will charge you for their classes.
My g/f is a head start teacher. She should see this since we are a "answer team".

I'll run this one past her when I see her this afternoon.
Well you defiantly want to get your child into head start. They are more school oriented and health oriented. They do dental checks and everything. When my son started last year, I didn't know he had a vision problem in till they did vision checks at school. It's really good for the kids. They learn alot more than if they went to preschool. The woman that teach head start are usually certified teachers. And as far as I know, it's not just for low income familys.. you can make quite a bit and still be able to qualify.
The head start programs give parents a opportunity to interact with their children more.They can go on field trips with their children and participate in classes for themselves like parenting/educational workshops or nutrition classes.You will have to an active participant in head start to be eligible for these classes.You may need to have a background check first because you may be assisting other children.Their budget is tight so they need parent volunteers.In a preschool(public) there really is not much parent involvement.They generally have student teachers or parents who have childhood educational hours to assist the children besides the preschool teacher.
Head Start is a Federally funded program for economically disadvantaged children. Generally ages 3-4

Early Childhood classes are Federally funded programs for emotionally or physically disadvantaged children. Infant - however long it is needed. The programs funds are sometimes augmented by the State or the School District

Pre - school differs from state to state. In Texas, we have free pre-school classes. Ages 4 years

Kindergarten in Texas begins at age 5 and is a State funded program. We have gone from l/2 day to full day kindergarted in most of our school districts. Kindergarten is no longer "play & nap". The children and teachers are very stressed with a full curriculum. Students are expected to read by the time they leave kindergarten.

In Texas, we have a "Transitional First Grade". This is for the children that were not ready to begin reading in Kindergarten.

I taught in Texas for 25 years and they never convinced me that all children are ready to read by age 5. I have my masters in early childhood/elementary education and am a Master Reading Teacher. I was often criticized for telling "the powers that be" that although I agreed that all children can lean, I firmly believe that not all children can learn the same thing at the same time. I believe that all children can learn to their ability and unfortunately ,no matter how much we might wish it to be true, not all people are created equal.

Head Start, Pre K, Kindergarten - All good programs in their concept. Sometimes "they" just expect too much from the children.
headstart is a federal program with set curriculum available for families who qualify. Check with the preschool, most do not have a curriculum or qualifies instructors.
I usually see head starts on native american reservations for low income familys... we tried to enroll our son in one to get the parent child interaction, BUT we dont like them, they are not very clean and my son came home sick and hungry all the time... I took him to a private preschool, he is learning a lot more and seems to be healthier, he is talking better and actually looks forward to going to school. paying for education is usually worth the money, especially when they are that young.
Like my b/f Randy said, I am a Head Start preschool teacher. Head Start is a federally mandated comprehensive program geared for families and children at risk. There are income guidlines but they also allow for a certain percentage (usually 10%) of their enrollment to be over income. This helps to round out the mix so that not all the children are from disadvantaged families.

Head Start has the same mandated school outcome assessments for students as school disctricts do. Head Start offers a variety of assessments to determine if the child is in need of special services outside of their program. Such as speech therapy, mental health therapy, etc. They also do the standard vision, hearing, and hight and weight checks.

Head Start offers parents lots of opportunities to participate and learn about early childhood and parenting in the program. The parents have a voice in what is implemented in the curriculum and other activities that go on at H.S. I have worked in private preschool and Head Start and their is no comparison between the two. The federal government has mandated that all H.S. teachers have at least an A.A.S. in early childhood education. You don't find that in most private preschool settings.

If you have the opportunity to take your child to Head Start, go for it! The kids that I have taught in H.S. have gone off to elementary school then come back to visit and said they wish they could come back to H.S.! Not all H.S.'s are created equal but they are federally regulated with guidlines to meet the needs of children and families.

Good Luck!
shesmore ...has the right idea for headstart but not one of the respondents hit on what preschool is ....

Preschool is really about a group of about 5 different types of programs

1) state funded or block grant preschool is usually a half day program operated in an elementary school building but in which the children very rarely if ever interact with anyone but those in their classroom/s. children usually attend 5 days per week and must be at least 3 yrs old, and potty trained(depending on if the child has a disability)

2)public preschools which can be in the above group or operated independently of the above group the only difference is that they are Not in a public elementary school and are most often found in churches, recreation centers, or other public buildings. children usually attend 2-5 days per week depending on their age usually from 3-5 yrs

3) parocial preschools operated by churches or church funded programs and usually found in church buildings or churches themselves and usually using a "bible based" program that gives the children a "bible" lesson each week....the children need to be at least 2.9 yrs old and potty trained to participate from 1-5 days per week (2's one day, 3's 2 days, and so on)

4) private preschools--accepting children from 2.9 yrs to 5 yrs depending on the program and can include montessori, among other types of programs and usually operate 5 days per week and children attend a variety of number of days.

5)preschool/daycare facilities--usually accept children from 2-5 yrs old and operate either in a persons home and or a variety of sizes from as little as 6-12 children to as large as over 100 children. often these programs offer preschool for the morning hours from 8-9 to 12-1pm and offer before and after "school" care as early as 6am to as late as 6pm. so the children have a variety of activities with their own age group for the preschool time hours and then may be in mixed groups for the daycare or non-"school" time and is mostly for parents who work.

headstart is not just for the children, and their parents it also gives the community a chance to help in a variety of ways and gives the children and parents a chance to see what a community is. the program usually is for children from 3-5 yrs old and usually operates 4-5 days per week for 2 groups of children per day (one am and one pm) some programs are funded for whole day programs and most headstarts operate on the same 9 month program that elementary schools operate and again some offer whole year programs now too.
and headstart teachers Must be either College graduates or have completed the specificed program to certify that almost the same program has been followed as a college degree(sorry been a while and i cannot remember the name of the program--but it is specific to headstart).

most teachers in private preschools/pariocal schools are either very limited in their training, with a few exceptions and other than the headstart teachers and assistant or co-teachers the most highly skilled preschool age teachers are in the state funded or block grant preschools. Not to say that all preschools have untrained teachers but many either are there because it was the easiest job, and then there are others who have worked at the job for years and have never taken a class but are naturals in their jobs.
For three year old either would work, and general programs would be similar. In this persons opinion Head Start in general is better, because the staff usually is more consistent meaning Head Start pays better and people stay with the job longer. And children come before profit. There is good and bad in each, so do some homework, and ask: staff to child ratio, language of staff, general level of education and size of group your child will be placed. If possible see how well your child will fit with respect to race, sex, physical development, mental ability or handicaps in these areas.
head start is before u go to preschool.They talk about how school will be like in the future
Preschools are privately run, and you pay usually a pretty steep tuition. Head Start is a federally funded program, associated through the public school systems, so it's free-of-charge to the students enrolled in it.

However, you can't just decide to enroll your child in Head Start. There are some strict requirements. Head Start is available to "at risk" kids, who are developmentally delayed, are in need of special education, or are from extremely low income families. Because it's free of charge, they have to have some serious restrictions to keep it from becoming overcrowded and losing the quality of care they can offer.

Basically, if your child has no real developmental or learning problems, and if you can AT ALL afford regular preschool, sign him up for that.

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