2013-05-02 / Community

Head Start Week planned for May

One day set aside for open applications

ESCANABA – The Menominee- Delta-Schoolcraft Community Action Agency Early Childhood Program has designated the week of May 6 as local Head Start Week. Applications are being accepted for free preschool classes beginning in Fall 2013.

There will be at least one day of “open application” times during Head Start Week in each of the service areas. Parents will not need an appointment to complete an application during this time. Call the nearest center to find out which day applications are being completed.

Parents are encouraged to apply early for enrollment opportunities. Program planning – such as the number of classrooms at each center – is decided for all three counties based on the need for services in each area.

The Early Childhood Program is accepting applications for 3-5 year-olds for fall enrollment in the Head Start or Great Start Readiness Programs. These programs serve children in a classroom setting. Some home visits are also included. Bussing is available for most classes, although some families may be required to meet a pick-up point. Meals and/or snacks are served during class times.

There are five Early Childhood Centers located in Menominee, Manistique, Rapid River, Gladstone and Escanaba. Selection for enrollment is based on age eligibility, family income, and a variety of other family circumstances including disabilities, children’s health issues, and single or teen parenting. Family income is verified at the time of application. Family circumstances that qualify for automatic program eligibility are homelessness, foster care, receipt of cash assistance, or receipt of Supplemental Security Income payments.

Services are free. Applications are accepted and enrollment vacancies are filled as they occur throughout the program year. Call 786-780 or (800) 562-9131 for more information or to apply. Residents may also call any one of the Early Childhood Centers directly: Escanaba ECC, 789- 0997; Gladstone ECC, 428-4231; Manistique ECC, 341-6423; Menominee ECC, 836-7588; Rapid Rive ECC at 474-3538.

Applications for the Early Head Start Program will also be taken. EHS is a program for families who are pregnant and/or have children ages 0-3. EHS provides year-round weekly home visits, playgroup opportunities, family activities, and child health and developmental tracking, as well as family advocacy and follow-up for children with disabilities. Some options include a combination of classroom experiences and home visits.

The Head Start and Early Head Start programs are federally funded, while the Great Start Readiness Program is funded through the State of Michigan.

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