Testimonial Rachele web HS

The Impact of Head Start

Head Start has played a major role in focusing the attention of the Nation on the importance of early childhood development, especially in the first five years of life. In many ways, the program has had a dramatic impact on child development and day care services; on the expansion of State and local activities for children; on the range and quality of services offered to young children and their families; and on the design of training program for those who staff such programs.

The program has led in efforts to improve the cognitive abilities of young children. Studies have indicated that Head Start children score higher than comparable non-Head Start children in preschool achievements tests that measure these abilities. The studies also show that Head Start children perform equal to or better than their peers when they enter regular school, and there are fewer grade retentions and special class placements.

The outreach and training efforts of Head start programs have helped provide low-income parents with the knowledge and service they need to build a better life for their children. Direct involvement of parents in Head Start planning and policy-making has given families an active role in their child’s education in how those services are provided. This participation has influenced school systems across the county to do likewise.

Head Start has had a special impact on community efforts for low-income families. A study of 58 communities with full-year Head Start programs showed that the programs had influenced local educational and health institutions to become more responsive to the needs of low-income families. As a result of Head Start activities, for the first time many school districts revised curricula to place more emphasis on the needs of minorities; health institutions changed services and schedules to serve the low-income more effectively; there was increased participation by low-income individuals in policy-making decisions; and employment of local people in para-professional jobs was stepped up. All of these are major Head Start goals.

Testimonial Crystal HS

Features of the Program


Head Start’s educational program is designed to meet each child’s individual needs. It also aims to meet the need of the community served and its ethnic and cultural characteristics. If programs have a majority of bilingual children, for example, at least one teacher or aide must speak their native language.

Every child receives a variety of learning experiences to foster intellectual, social, and emotional growth. Children participate in indoor and outdoor play and are introduced to the concepts of words and numbers. They are encouraged to express their feelings and to develop self-confidence and the ability to get along with others.

Head Start offers:

  • Activities that help children grow mentally, socially, emotionally, and physically
  • The help for children to socialize, solve problems, and have experiences that build self-confidence
  • Skilled healthcare treatment, arrangement of hearing and vision tests, and immunizations
  • Mental health and other services for children and families with special needs
  • Nutritional meals for children
  • The teaching of good personal hygiene habits
  • Counseling for parents, children, and families
  • Training in proper nutrition, health, hygiene, and child rearing practices
  • Referrals for continuing adult education and employ ability status
  • Participation in home visits and center activities
  • Gaining leadership skills by involvement with committees and boards

Testimonial Camela HS


Medical and Dental | Establishing medical and dental homes is a priority for OFB Head Start. On site dental prevention service is provided for all Head Start children. Children also receive hearing, vision and nutrition screenings with appropriate referrals and resources offered to families when needed.

Nutrition | Meal time is an extension of learning by modeling language, conversation, social interaction and introducing new foods.  The menu integrates the latest nutritional research so families are offered the healthiest meals possible. OFB works with all families to ensure that their cultural needs are valued and special diets are accommodated for.

Mental Health | A mental health professional is available to every Head Start program to provide mental health services for children and families. Ongoing training and support ensures that OFB provides high quality classroom environments that foster success, safety and wellness for each child.

Parent Involvement

Participation in Decision Making | Parents are the most important influence on a child’s development. An essential part of our program is the involvement of parents in program planning and operating activities. Many serve as members of  Policy Councils and Committees and have a voice in program design.

Family Services

Respect for the uniqueness of each family drives the work of family service staff as it builds relationship with families and works on parent-generated goals. Family service staff provide resources and referrals, crisis intervention, opportunities for community involvement and support to develop literacy, leadership and employment skills.


Head Start’s Policy Council, a parent decision-making body helps plan and develop goals for the program, approve various policies, hiring, budgets and work plans.

We also have a diverse Board of Directors. Nine members are active in the strategic direction of Head Start with a focus of serving all age, income eligible children in Broome County.


Children between the ages of 3 and 4 whose family’s income falls within our income guidelines.  For more information about OFB Head Start, please call (607) 772-6810.

Opportunities for Broome Head Start