Head Start

About Head Start

Head Start is a federally funded program that began in 1965, for children to have a safe, healthy and nutritional foundation that is vital to their growth and development.  It helps prepare children for life by providing experiences that help them grow emotionally, physically and intellectually.

Central WV Community Action, Inc.'s Head Start program provides learning and developmental services to children ages 3-5., at no cost to families.  Eligibility is based on family income at 100% of the poverty level according to the Poverty Guidelines published by the federal government.  Children in foster care, homeless children, and children from families receiving public assistance (TANF or SSI) are eligible regardless of income.

The Agency has six (6) stand-alone Head Start facilities and provides services in collaboration in several elementary school classrooms in Gilmer, Harrison, Lewis, and Ritchie counties.

Head Start has four main quadrants of focus:

  • -   School readiness
  • -   Parent engagement
  • -   Health / Mental health services
  • -   Child attendance

How Children Learn at Preschool:

Our Head Start program utilizes the Creative Curriculum.  This curriculum is with child initiated and adult directed activities throughout the day.  Children have many opportunities to make choices, come up with ideas, experiment, and take responsibility for their work. We watch how they use materials.  We listen. We talk with them to find out what they are thinking. We help them become aware of their actions and think about logical next steps.

The early childhood years are our best opportunity to build a solid foundation for children’s success in school and in life.  Each aspect of a child’s development and learning is important and affects others area. For example, the ability to express ideas and needs by using words (language – development) influences a child’s ability to get along with others (social-emotional development) and to solve problems (cognitive-development).  The Head Start preschool curriculum therefore outlines objectives in all areas of learning and development: social-emotional, physical, language, cognitive.

Our children also learn from outdoor play and receive outdoor time every day (weather permitting).  We believe children need time each day to run, jump, and build strong muscles. Playgrounds are at each site and safety scans are performed daily on playground equipment before children go outdoors.  Our Head Start locations also have a Certified Playground Safety Specialist that routinely monitors each playground site.

School Readiness:

Our goal is to prepare your child for school and life.  We first begin by scheduling an initial home visit with each family prior to the beginning of school.  This allows you and your new Family Coordinator to establish a relationship and to discuss any goals you have for the year ahead.

Throughout the year we monitor your child’s progress.  We know the steps preschool children typically experience while learning a skill, and we observe and support them along the way.

Our Head Start classrooms use the WV Early Learning Scale to individualize each child’s learning plan.  Two (2) Parent-Teacher conferences are held throughout the year to share your child’s progress.  We conclude the year with a final in-home visit to prepare your family for the next year of school.

We believe early education is a partnership with the family and work to ensure that communication is strong throughout their preschool experience.

All of our Head Start sites are inclusive and work with the WV Board of Education to provide Itinerant Special Education Teachers and speech therapy as needed.

To ensure maximum learning and teacher-child engagement, each classroom is limited to 20 children, with a Teacher and Teacher Assistant classroom.

A Child's Daily Schedule:

Once the children arrive in class, we follow a daily schedule to help children feel secure and independent, and to move easily from one activity to another.  The schedule may include: small group time, read-aloud, rest, outdoors, art, snack time, and lunch. Children are provided with a nutritious breakfast, lunch, and snack each day.

Research shows how important the early years are in a child’s learning and development; therefore, we place a large emphasis on child attendance in our classrooms and encourage our parents to embrace and support this with us.

The classroom hours are Monday – Friday from approximately  8:15am – 2:45pm. Each site has a dedicated bus and driver and provides free transportation for your child to and from school. Head Start classrooms are open 144 days each year. Classrooms do observe standard holidays and may close for inclement weather. Each Head Start site communicates with parents on inclement weather days.

Our children also learn from outdoor play every day (weather permitting). We believe children need time each day to run, jump, and build strong muscles.  Playgrounds are at each site

Parent Engagement:

We believe you are your child’s most important teacher.  The way you play with and talk with your child makes a big difference in how your child thinks and feels in the world.  Reading books together, talking about their day in preschool, reciting nursery rhymes, going for nature walks, and playing pretend all help children learn and grow.

We also believe that parent involvement can carry over into your child’s experience at Head Start.  Parents are asked to be leaders in our program and serve as joint decision makers with our Board of Directors.

If you would like to learn more about Head Start in Harrison and Lewis Counties, or to determine your child’s eligibility to attend the Head Start program, please call 304-623-1665 or email: headstart@cwvcaa.org.

Registration Requirements:

  • -   Birth certificate or other verification of date of birth.  Child must be 4 years of age by July 1st.
  • -   Immunization record
  • -   Verification of income (12 months)
  • -   Physical and Dental exam

In accordance with federal law and USDA policy, this institution is prohibited from discrimination and children are eligible regardless of race, color, sex, age, national origin or disabling condition.

For more information, and to determine your child’s eligibility to attend the Head Start program, please call 304-622-8495, menu option #1, or email: headstart@cwvcaa.org.

CWVCAA Head Start Locations:

About Us

Central WV Community Action is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization serving Harrison, Lewis, Ritchie and Gilmer Counties with the vision of ending poverty in Central WV.

Contact Us

Administration Office

106 Frederick St.

Clarksburg, WV  26301

1-304-622-8495

info@cwvcaa.org