Head Start can offer respite, support to caregivers
Head Start centers across Ohio are eager to assist PCSAs in combating the opioid epidemic by offering educational support to children in foster and kinship care while at the same time offering caregivers a break.
The Ohio Head Start Association has announced that recent federal changes require centers to set aside slots to serve children categorized as homeless, and that children in foster care and in many kinship placements meet the definition.
Head Start, which operates in every county, is a federally funded program providing comprehensive early learning services to more than 4,000 infants and toddlers and 30,000 preschoolers. Since its inception in 1965, Head Start has been a leader in helping children from low-income families succeed in school and in life. Early Head Start serves pregnant mothers and infants and toddlers up to three years of age, while Preschool Head Start serves children from age three to compulsory school age. Half-day and full-day options are available.
Foster children birth to school age are categorically eligible for the free program, and many children who are placed with kin will be eligible early in their placement because they too are considered homeless. Once a child is enrolled, he or she remains eligible for the program for up to two years.