Giving Children a Head Start
Giving Children a Head Start

The Family Conservancy (TFC) is a delegate agency to the Jackson, Platte and Clay county Head Start Program in Missouri and an Early Head Start grantee on the Kansas side of the state line — administering programming for Head Start/Early Head Start children. TFC is unique in our Head Start service delivery. We are able to individualize options based on the needs of the children and families we serve. TFC partnerships with centers, family child care providers and has home-based slots available.

Center-based programs offer a traditional preschool setting in our community partnership sites. These programs – largely in the urban core – are great resources for families utilizing public transportation and can help connect them to on onsite social services. Centers in our network target specific populations such as teen parents, homeless families, children with special needs and Latino families.

Family child care is optimal for Head Start families seeking an intimate learning environment–ideal for sibling groups to remain together, children with challenging behaviors and children who thrive in smaller learning groups. The family-style learning atmosphere is a great stepping stone to a larger school setting.

TFC provides direct, comprehensive Head Start services within the home. The home-based specialists are often the first introduction for parents to their child’s school-readiness journey, providing early intervention and reaching families where they are. Specialists empower the parent to be their child’s first teacher and the home their first classroom. Home-based services allow for individualization and personalization of curriculum, which also allows for cultural and linguistic preference.

In addition to general oversight, TFC provides nutrition education, literacy tools and mental health consultation to its Head Start/Early Head Start child care sites. The Family Conservancy also utilizes its experienced staff to deliver on-site coaching, professional development, cutting-edge training opportunities and hands-on support to early education professionals, thereby ensuring that all children have access to quality early education through the Head Start Program. In 2014, these quality improvement efforts had a direct impact on approximately 9,900 children.

Why invest in Head Start?

Research shows that children who participate in a quality program during their preschool years are better prepared to learn, have higher self-esteem, and possess more developed social skills when they start kindergarten. Here are just a few of the proven benefits of early education:

  • Preschoolers earn an average of  50% more than non-preschoolers as adults.
  • Participants are 28% less likely to develop alcohol or other drug problems.
  • Head Start children are 20% more likely to graduate from high school.
  • These successes mean big savings. Research shows that every dollar invested in early childhood education yields a conservative $7 return on investment.