Pre-natal to Five
Head Start/Early Head Start is a federal program that promotes the school readiness of children ages birth to 5 from low income families by enhancing their cognitive, social and emotional development. RAI's prenatal to 5 Head Start program provides educational, health, nutritional, social and other services to children enrolled in a federally recognized tribe and their families. Services are designed to be responsive to each child and family's ethnic, cultural and linguistic heritage. RAI's Head Start program has consistently scored among the highest in the nation. Our Head Start teachers and teacher mentors are required to have an Associates Degree or higher. Our teacher assistants are required to have a Child Development Associates (CDA) credential in pre-school, and Our Early Head Start teachers and teacher mentors are required to have a CDA in infant/toddler setting.
Each center has a variety of services and options available to families part-day or full day and school year or full year. Breakfast, lunch and snacks are provided. Transportation is available for those in need. Cultural and language curricula for the Lakota/Dakota language are used. Developmental screenings are provided.
We engage parents in their child's learning and help them progress toward her or his educational, literacy and employment goals. Parents are welcomed into our program and our Parent Policy Council representatives are involved in shared decision making with RAI's administration and Board of Directors.
HEAD START AND EARLY HEAD START:
HEAD START PROGRAM HONORED
RAI's Head Start Program was one of 23 throughout the country chosen by the Office of Head Start to attend ONE Practice-Based Coaching (PBC) Leadership Academy. The team from RAI will join grantees from tribes in Alaska New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arizona, Idaho, Washington, Colorado, California, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and North Carolina in Albuquerque, NM for training April 8-10. Grantees were chosen "...because of their expertise in putting systems in place, for their potential ability to be successful implementing a system of coaching, and for their willingness to share their successes with other grantees," according to Janet Humphryes, Early Childhood Education Manager from the American/Alaska Native Head Start Region IX.
"I could not be more proud of our team. This kind of recognition on a national level, based on evaluations and observations from the Washington, DC Head Start office, is a testament to the quality of our teaching staff and the fine job they do," said RAI's Head Start Director Anne Reddy.
Our new 28, 324 square foot building at 2112 South Valley Drive has given us the capacity to serve 146 children and 10 pregnant mothers at this location. As the need is always there for quality early childhood education and childcare, we continue to seek grants that would allow us to add more classrooms to our new facility and/or possibly change some half day classrooms to full day services.
"We have to measure our success one child at a time and one family at a time. In spite of all of their challenges, we have families with big hearts and they have lots of love for their children."
Head Start and Early Head Start Director