We believe that the most important minds for improving our world come in the smallest packages. Head Start’s early childhood education programming emphasizes the importance of child development during some of the most formative years of a child’s life: three to five years old.
We use evidence-based standards to support our services. Harvard University’s Center for the Developing Child has the most comprehensive research on early childhood education with a decades-long, scientific study.
Their data shows how rapidly the architecture of the brain develops in the first five years of life. In fact, over 700 new neural connections are created in a child’s brain every single second! Children use these connections to communicate. Using both verbal and non-verbal expression to learn about their world, children interact with other people in unique ways.
Harvard’s studies have shown that constant and appropriate responses to a young child’s babbling, facial expressions, or speech from parents and other adults teaches self-regulating behavior. They’ve also shown that toxic stress in a young child’s life, such as extreme poverty, abuse or neglect, and parental depression, can have long-term consequences for a child’s ability to learn, behave, and showcase healthy mental and physical health.
That’s where Head Start steps in. Head Start uses best practices developed from research from early child professionals to ensure that vulnerable 3-5 year olds in Yellowstone and Carbon Counties have access to high-quality early education. It’s a win for our parents and a win for our community. Quality early childhood education has a $7 return to the local economy for every $1 invested. The importance of a child’s health, wellness, and happiness in their early years cannot be overstated.
Therefore, it is our pledge to ensure the children in our community receive the developmental services they need. Read more in the “School Readiness” section to see what those services look like.