The MARC Head Start program recognizes the link between health and school readiness. The program promotes the concept of healthy children are more successful in school. Head Start focused on providing a coordinated service approach for medical, dental, and other health care needs. To provide physical, nutritional and health care services to children, Head Start utilizes health service and family support staff and the Portrait of a Healthy Child to explain the Early Head Start and Head Start health requirements to parents and health care providers. The Head Start Health Services staff work in collaboration with the health care community to provide an organized approach to health care access and services for Early Head Start and Head Start children.
MARC Head Start encourages nutrition and works with parents and staff to access and meet the nutritional needs of all children, including those with special dietary needs, medical-based diets and/or disabilities. With a focus on promoting life-long-well-being, Head Start facilitates programs to encourage proper nutrition, rest, hygiene, and physical activity as part of a child’s daily routines.
Coordinated Health Services
With the commitment of the Head Start staff and the health care community, families receive support and services that emphasize the importance of parental involvement in their child’s health care. Through the collaborative efforts of the MARC Health Services Advisory Committee and Health and Family support staff and community health care providers, a coordinated approach to health care access and services for Early Head Start and Head Start children is achieved.
Mental Health and Disabilities
MARC Head Start uses a comprehensive, collaborative approach to support mental health and disability services for children. Head Start mental health services focus on the mental well-being of children in the program. Children are given opportunities to build social and emotional skills in the classroom and at home through consultation, which included providing strategies and resources to teachers and parents or guardians. Mental health professionals also support families with long or short-term stressful situations and help them access appropriate community referrals.