Early Head Start – 0-3

We strive to provide the highest quality early education for all children enrolled.

Preschool Onsite Program for Birth to 3 Year Olds

The foundations for school readiness begin in pregnancy and continue through the first 3 years. For infants and toddlers, this is built around opportunities to explore and have experiences that are supported by nurturing relationships.

  • July through June
  • Monday through Friday
  • 7:30 am – 5:30 pm

  • Teacher-to-child ratios are no greater than 1:4
  • Group size never exceeds 10 children

  • Orange County Head Start, Inc. Early Head Start preschool teachers are highly trained and hold at least a Bachelor’s or an Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education or its equivalent.
  • Teachers are required to have Infant and Toddler college units.
  • Teachers also receive ongoing professional development including individualized coaching to keep them up-to-date with best practices in early childhood education.

  • High Scope Infant and Toddler Orange County Head Start, Inc. uses High Scope, a research-based preschool curriculum. Active learning, whether planned by the teaching staff or initiated by the children, is the central element of the High Scope curriculum. Children learn through direct, hands-on experiences. This approach focuses on the children’s interpretation of their world within a safe environment built on trusting relationships with adults.Extensive research conducted by High Scope has demonstrated that the curriculum advances the development of children and helps them to build lifelong skills that positively impact their future success, such as greater high school graduation rates. Studies have shown that children who attend High Scope programs score higher on measures of development than similar children enrolled in other preschool and childcare programs.
  • Adult-Child Interaction Orange County Head Start, Inc. teachers and children are active partners in the learning process. This balanced approach to adult-child interaction — also called “intentional teaching” — is critical to the effectiveness of the program.
  • Classroom Arrangement, Materials, and Equipment The space and materials in a High Scope setting are carefully arranged to promote active learning. The center is divided into interest areas organized around specific kinds of play; for example, block area, house area, toy area, book area, sand-and-water area, and art area.
  • Daily Routine Orange County Head Start, Inc. teachers give preschoolers a sense of control over the events of the day by planning a consistent daily routine that enables the children to anticipate what happens next. Central elements of the preschool daily routine include the plan-do-review sequence, small- and large-group times, greeting time, literacy time, and outside time.
  • Individualizing Teachers plan and carry out strategies and curricula that recognize each child’s unique characteristics and differences. Activities are planned that offer children choices and allow them to participate according to their individual interests and skill levels, and make progress toward their school readiness goals.
  • Language Acquisition To respect each child’s culture, home language, and individual language acquisition process, Orange County Head Start, Inc. implements the basic tenets of the Preschool English Learners: Principles and tenets to Promote Language, Literacy, and Learning guide developed by the California Department of Education. The strategies and procedures listed in this guide are designed to provide a framework for staff that works with children who are dual language learners. To learn more about this guide please Click Here. 

  • Annual developmental and behavioral screenings are conducted to identify possible developmental delays and behavioral issues in children that may need further assessment or intervention.
  • In addition, all children are assessed three times each school year using the Desired Results Developmental Profile (DRDP).  Screening and assessment results are shared individually with parents and used by the teacher and parent together to develop individualized school readiness goals for each child.
  • Each child is regularly assessed with these goals in mind to measure their progress while in our programs.

  • Throughout the child’s participation, parents and family members are encouraged and invited to participate in their child’s education through a variety of options.
  • The teaching staff provides opportunities for parents to participate in the classroom in every aspect of the curriculum with children.
  • Parents are encouraged by teaching staff to share their talents and cultures during classroom activities (e.g., music, dance, food, and stories).
  • On an ongoing basis, parents are encouraged to write observations of children during classroom participation and/or at home with their own child. Teaching staff will provide training for taking observations on Parent Observation forms during parent conferences and home visits.
  • The teacher also develops home activities with the parent to support the child’s individual school readiness goals.
  • Daily, teachers communicate with parents at drop-off and pick-up time to ensure that the needs of each child are communicated upon entry into the center and release to go home.
  • Parents are invited to download the Learning Genie Parent App as a way for ongoing two-way communication with their child’s teacher.


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