ERIC Number: ED474784
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Reference Count: N/A
National Head Start Association Position Paper: A Look at Head Start's Health Services and Their Value to Our Nation's Poorest Children.
Smith, Angela; Greene, Sarah; Allen, Ben; Ryan, Joel; Kane, Elizabeth; Shillady, Amy; Hansen, Jacquelyn
Since its inception, Head Start has used a varied and comprehensive approach to meet the needs of children in poverty. This position paper of the National Head Start Association asserts that the programs current federal-to-local guidance and funding structure under the Department of Health and Human Services is effective and argues that valuable health services will be reduced or eliminated if the Head Start program funding is block granted to the states. Under the guidance of the Head Start Program Performance Standards, Head Start incorporates a broad health plan including medical, dental, nutritional, and mental health services and thereby makes available health services to almost one million at-risk children. The paper claims that giving states control of Head Start would remove Program Performance Standard requirements and would be a radical departure from the organizations past history of helping the nations poorest children. The bulk of this paper illustrates ways that Head Start health services help children in poverty, including establishing a medical home for poor children by creating collaboration between families, staff, and health professionals; providing a battery of health screenings upon program enrollment; checking children for undetected diseases and illness; providing immunizations; providing dental services; providing mental health services that increase childrens chances of growing up mentally and emotionally productive; and providing nutrition services. The paper concludes by reiterating that block granting Head Start to the states would gravely endanger the success of children that society has already deemed to be at-risk. (Contains 17 endnotes.) (KB)
Descriptors: At Risk Persons, Block Grants, Child Health, Early Childhood Education, Federal Programs, Federal State Relationship, Health Promotion, Health Services, Organizations (Groups), Position Papers, Preschool Education, Professional Associations, State Federal Aid
National Head Start Association, 1651 Prince Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. Tel: 703-739-0875; Fax: 703-739-0878; Web site: http://www.nhsa.org. For full text: http://www.nhsa.org/research/pdf_doc/positionpaper-health.pdf.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Head Start Association, Alexandria, VA.