The National Head Start Association engaged in a new initiative during the 2018-2019 program year to support all aspects of health. This year-long campaign brought a renewed focus to specific areas of health, which were identified as priorities for the field through surveys and other outreach. NHSA used this opportunity to share resources, webinars, and other tools to help promote and improve the health and wellbeing of Head Start children, families, and staff.
Head Start values good health as the foundation of school readiness and child development. The Head Start model takes a Whole Child approach to health by providing comprehensive health services and support to children and families. Across the nation, Head Start programs are providing nearly a million children and their families a year with health services such as immunizations, dental, medical, and mental health, and nutritional services, and early identification of health problems.
Since the health of a child is impacted by the environment in which he or she grows and develops, the Head Start model also aims to promote the health of the child’s family, caregivers, and surrounding community. The Year of Whole Health reflected this holistic approach to wellness.