Head Start and Early Head Start began yesterday in Big Spring. One of the common misconceptions about the Head Start programs is that it’s a daycare, but Hijinio Moreno - Assoc. Director in charge of Eligibility, Recruitment, Selection, Enrollment, and Attendance for Greater Opportunities for the Permian Basin Inc, Head Start/ Early Head Start School Readiness Academy, says that’s not the case.
"We are not a daycare. We are actually a school readiness academy, and an early childhood development program. We're getting children ready to go into the school district," said Moreno.
Head Start is for children 3-5 yoa. This program is targeted for low income families and families that qualify under the federal poverty guidelines. There are no fees for services for those who qualify.
The Early Head Start program began last year, and serves children 6 weeks – 3 yoa. The program provides diapers, wipes, snacks, formula at no charge to the parents. In fact, pregnant mothers can enroll in order to save a spot for their soon-to-be born child.
"We work with [pregnant moms] on helping them keep their wellness checks to make sure that everything is going [well]. We helpt them try to establish a medical home to make sure that they have a doctor on board to help her with the baby," advised Moreno. He also noted that the pregnant mom is counted in their enrollment because they will be serving that child.
Once a child has qualified for Early Head Start, the child is able to stay in the program up to 36 months old. When the child transitions to Head Start, they’ll have to requalify. If they do qualify again, they’ll be given a priority position on the list.
Applications are accepted throughout the year at Bauer School, located at 108 NW 9th St. in Big Spring, from 8am – 3 PM, Mon-Fri.
For more information contact them at 432-267-7452 and ask for Connie Lesser or Stacy Munsell. You can also visit www.gopb.org, or the Facebook page for Greater Opportunities for the Permian Basin, Inc.