Head Start is a federally funded preschool program that is free to families that qualify. There are 11 Head Start centers on Maui, two on the island of Molokai, and a partnership on Lanai. Head Start provides breakfast and lunch free of charge, and the children brush their teeth twice a day. Parents are never asked to pay for any services.
Head Start recognizes parents and guardians as their child’s first and most important teacher. We ask you to let us know what works best for your child so the teachers can individualize each aspect of your child’s preschool experience. The Head Start classroom is a bright, cheery place where the children can experience art, dramatic play, literature, science, math and more. The children are encouraged to ask questions, to share their ideas and to develop at their own pace. Through the “home/school connection” piece, the parents work with the teachers to help recognize “school readiness goals” for their children to help them prepare for kindergarten and beyond.
There are many components in the Head Start program. We strive to embrace the parents and guardians with the understanding that when adults feel supported, their children benefit in every part of their life. Head Start nurtures each aspect of your little one’s growth including social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development. We celebrate family strengths and offer support to deal with the many challenges of parenthood.
Too often, we as adults focus on our own needs above the needs the child, for obedience to our wishes, our need for quiet, for certain achievements, etc. We continually insist that the child meet our needs. In Head Start we recognize that meeting the child’s needs is vitally important to their growth. We welcome you to apply in our Wailuku office at 99 Mahalani Street, Wailuku or call 249-2988. Please note that priority is given to families meet our Head Start Selection Criteria. This criterion outlines the income guidelines as well as other criteria for entering the program.
*** Beginning Monday, February 1, 2016, Maui Economic Opportunity’s Head Start will be accepting applications for the 2016-2017 school year. Head Start is a federal program that provides Early Childhood development services to families that meet the federal poverty guidelines and selection criteria. Children who will be 3 or 4 years old by July 31, 2016 are eligible for enrollment. Parents/ Legal Guardians will be required to bring the child’s birth certificate and 2 forms of household income (preferably 2015 W-2 forms or 2015 Tax Returns; pay stubs or SSI/TANF printout). Applications to be completed in the office between the hours of 7:30am – 3:30pm (Monday – Friday, except on all Federal and State holidays), at the MEO Family Center located at 99 Mahalani Street in Wailuku. For more information, please contact MEO Early Childhood Services department at 249-2988.
Image Credit: MEO, Inc