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Head Start

The Self Help Head Start Program provides a comprehensive developmental service for low-income, pre-school children ages 3 to 5 years of age, primarily. Head Start also provides social services for their families. Specific services for children focus on education, socio-emotional development, physical and mental health , and nutrition.

Head Start began in 1965 in the Office of Economic Opportunity as an innovative way in which to serve children of low income families and is now administered by the Administration for Children and Families. The cornerstone of this program is parent and community involvement--which has made it one of the most successful pre-school programs in the country.


The Head Start Program is based on the premise that all children share certain needs and that children of low income families, in particular, can benefit from a comprehensive developmental program to meet those needs. The Head Start approach make the following assumptions:

A child can benefit from a comprehensive, interdisciplinary program to foster development.

Because the family is the principal influence on the child's development, the child's family, as well as the community, must be involved in the program.

The overall goal of the Head Start Program is to bring about a greater degree of social competence in children of low-income families. Social competence means the child's everyday effectiveness in dealing with both the present environment and later responsibilities in school and in life. Social competence takes into account the interrelatedness of cognitive and intellectual development, physical and mental health,nutritional needs as well as other factors. To achieve social competence, Head Start objectives and performance standards provide for:

  • Improvement of the child's health and physical abilities, including appropriate steps to correct physical and mental health problems and to enhance every child's access to an adequate diet.
  • Improvement of the family's attitude toward future health care and physical abilities.
  • Encouragement of self-confidence, spontaneity, curiosity and self-discipline that will assist the child's social and emotional health.
  • Enhancement of the child's mental processes and skill, with particular attention to conceptual and communication skills.
  • Establishment of patterns and expectations for success for the child that will create a climate of confidence for present and future learning efforts and overall development.
  • Enhancement of the ability of the child and the family to relate to one another and to others.
  • Development of a sense of dignity and self-worth within the child and his family.

Program Information

Head Start regulations stipulate no more than 20 children per room, with a lead teacher and a teacher.  Hours of operation are 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday. The program year begins the end of September and runs through the end of May each year. Transportation may be available for children depending on need and availability.   Children receive a nutritious meal served family style for breakfast and lunch each day.  All children are taught to wash their hands before meals and to brush their teeth after meals. The children are encouraged to develop good personal health habits.  A nutritious afternoon snack is also provided.

Head Start gives children a head start in life by providing them with activities that help them to develop mentally, socially, emotionally, and physically.  Head Start recognizes that parents are the first and most important teachers of their children.  Parent involvement is not only welcomed but greatly encouraged.  Parents can participate as full partners with Head Start staff to help children progress.  Head Start staff offers children love, acceptance, understanding, and the opportunity to learn and to experience success.  Head Start children socialize with others, solve problems, and have other experiences that help them become enthusiastic, self-confident learners. The children also improve their listening and speaking skills.  They spend time in stimulating settings where they form good habits and enjoy playing with educational materials and working on tasks with classmates.  Children will leave Head Start more prepared for kindergarten, excited about learning, and ready to succeed.  Health professionals will assess children for any health problems.  These professionals will arrange vision and hearing tests, and assist parents with needed immunizations.  Head Start offers nutritional assessments and dental exams as well.  Children with health needs receive follow-up services.  Mental health and other services are available for children and families with special needs.



Community, Friends, Partners,

Self Help, Inc Head Start has had a busy year of serving over 700 preschoolers and their  families in a comprehensive integrated service delivery model.  Through the year not only were developmental goals met, but also health needs were addressed for the children and their parents,   There were many opportunities for parent involvement and we were so pleased to have such high numbers of parents involved in all areas of the program.    

The hard work of dedicated staff and volunteers has made a positive impact on the families served, as well as the community,  through partnerships of service and collaborations to meet community goals.  We could not have done it without our parents and community volunteers.

The standard of expected quality for Head Start has never been higher than it is presently.  We continue to strive for excellence in every area of service. 

It has been a rewarding year for staff—many of whom completed degrees and our volunteers who provided  countless hours of service, our community, our families and most of all our children.  Our thanks to all of our supporters.

We look forward to yet another year of excellence as we continue to “break the cycle of poverty” for the children and families within our service area,

                                                               Patricia N. Foley, Director
                                                               Self Help, Inc Head Start


                                                                        Enrollment                             Funding
Federal – Head Start                                             687                                    $5,349,236
Massachusetts - State Supplement                          13                                        510,653
Massachusetts – Full Day Program                       140                                         885,741
Massachusetts – Quality                                                                                        92,000
U. S. Dept. of Agriculture                                                                                   366,752

The following is a breakdown for the 2009-2010 Program and Fiscal Year:

Self Help, Inc. Head Start Budget

Salaries                        $2,784,742
Fringe                               835,422
Travel                                   5,000
Equipment                          94,504
Supplies                             121,997
Contractual                       326,142
Other*                            1,129,075
Training                               58,909
Indirect Cost                      159,957

*The other category includes Maintenance at 8 sites, Insurance, Telephone, Parent Activities, Space costs of $492,500, Printing, Recruitment, Vehicle Repair/Maintenance, Staff Travel, Building Repairs, and Utilities

Massachusetts State Supplement Funding of $478,132 is used to supplement salaries, along with the 30% Fringe, and Indirect Cost based on 2.9%

Massachusetts Full Day Program Funding $885,741 is used to pay salaries of full day staff, as well as fringe of 30% and Indirect Cost based on 2.9%

Massachusetts Quality Funding of  $92,000 is used for salaries  and 30% fringe for  29 staff  ($68.709); Instructional Support of $1,300; Accreditation Support of $258; Family Support $250; Professional Development $17,643, which  includes Behavior Management Course for 30 staff,  and Indirect Cost of $3,849

U. S. Department of Agriculture funding of $366,752 is used for purchase of food for 75,139 meals and snacks.


Financial Audit and Federal Oversight

Our most recent independent audit was performed by the firm of Bruce D Norling, CPA, P.C.  The audit reviewed the financial position of Self Help, Inc. activities through September 30, 2008, and Statement of Cash Flow.  The audit found that Self Help, Inc. complied, in all material respects, with the terms of its funding, and the conditions of OMB Circular A-135 Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations.

The Self Help, Inc. Head Start program underwent a triennial Federal Review by the Office of Head Start (OHS) in February 2008.  A Certificate of Compliance was awarded to Self Help, Inc. Head Start by the Office of Head Start that acknowledges full compliance with all applicable Head Start Program Performance Standards, laws, regulations and policy requirements.  In August of 2009, the Office of Head Start conducted a risk assessment of Self Help Inc. Head Start and found we are taking a proactive approach to addressing risk. 

Head Start Population

The Self Help, Inc. Head Start program served 289 three year-olds and 463 four year olds, 260 two parent families, and  472 single parent families.  Of the families enrolled in Self Help, Inc. Head Start, 234 family members have completed some college or have an undergraduate degree, while 140 family members have not completed high school.  Of the Self Help, Inc. Head Start families, 82 have a parent/guardian in school or job training, and 232 households do not have a parent/guardian who is employed.

Of the 732 families served, all have received health education and parenting education in at least one of the following ways, workshops and trainings, newsletters, presentations at parent committee meetings, and home visits. 430 parents volunteered in Head Start classrooms/decision making and/or planning throughout the year.  This number also included many grandparents who are raising their grandchildren

100% of the children in Self Help, Inc. Head Start received a developmental screening and three developmental assessments during the course of the year, 100% received a socio-emotional screening and complete medical screening, 96.53% completed dental exams.

Of the children medically screened, 16.46% received completed follow-up services

9.59% of the children in Head Start required dental treatment and 94.44% received complete follow-up services.

100% of the 75 children diagnosed with disabilities received comprehensive special education services








85 children referred by Head Start received significant mental health services for socio-emotional concerns.  Head Start children had ongoing behavior intervention plans, special aides to assist them in class and additional mental health family counseling services.

21 children in Head Start received professional mental health counseling with their parents from community mental health providers

100% of families enrolled in Head Start set goals for both their children and their families, and 93% of those families report that they have made progress in completing those goals.

100% of parents with a child enrolled in a Head Start center participated in home visits and parent conferences.

207 Head Start parents received Parenting Education

287 of the families enrolled in Head Start received crisis management

10% of the children enrolled were from families that were over-income

The average daily attendance for students attending the program was 88.6%

Number of families who received housing assistance            164

Number of families with Domestic Violence Issues                 16
Number of families participating in ESL education                  62
Number of families who received Emergency
Intervention, (food, clothing or shelter)                                 287
Number of families with an incarcerated parent                        7
Number of families provided job training                                41
Number of families receiving mental health services                 68
Number of families receiving health education                       589
Number of families homeless during enrollment year                34
Number of children whose fathers participated in
Dad’s Groups                                                                      133
Number of families receiving services under the Special
Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants
And Children (WIC)                                                             516

Children eat two nutritious meals and snacks each day that include fresh fruit and vegetables, low fat, low salt and low sugar foods.  Teachers, volunteers, parents and children brush their teeth twice a day.  Besides modeling for the children, this promotes wellness for adults, as well.

Head Start Outcomes Report

When you are evaluating the learning of a child, the following individual differences have to be taken into consideration; the child’s gender, temperament, interests, learning styles, life experiences, culture, special needs, age and is the child a second language learner.

This analysis is based on the following statistics for this past program year

Number of children                                                     732
Male                                                                          53%
Female                                                                       46%
Primary Language Spoken (English)                            69%
                                          (Spanish)                            9%
                                         (French)                              9%
                                          (Portuguese)                       4%
                                           (Vietnamese)                      1%
                                           (Chinese)                            1%
                                           (Arabic)                              1%
                                            (Other)                               6%
3-4 year olds                                                                 51%
4-5 year olds                                                                49%

The following data is presented focusing on the two highest steps of achievement.  An analysis can be made utilizing the children’s baseline from the Fall and making a comparison with their achievement by Spring.  The percentage of growth is another important aspect to look at when analyzing the data for growth and achievement
                                                            Fall                  Spring             % of growth

Language Development                      38%                  74%                 36%
Literacy                                              31%                 79%                 33%
Mathematics                                       36%                 73%                 37%
Creative Arts                                      39%                 84%                 45%
Social/Emotional Development            40%                 79%                 39%
Approaches to Learning                      34%                 72%                 38%
Physical Health & Well Being             49%                   82%                  33%

Learning is ongoing and there is always room for growth and improvement.  We will continue to strive to provide the best learning environment and improve on teaching strategies for the children to achieve to the best of their abilities while in the Head Start program


Head Start Eligibility:

The Self Help Head Start Program offers both a half-day Head Start experience, and for families who are working, attending school or are enrolled in a training program, a full day Head Start Experience. Priority is given to children with special needs and family concerns.

The half day program is free of charge and the full day program has a sliding-fee scale that is dependent on the families total income and ability to pay. The Head Start Income Guidelines for 2009 are as follows:

2009 Head Start Income Guidelines

Size of Family Unit
100% Poverty
130% Poverty
$10,830 $14,079
$14,570 $18,941
$18,310 $23,803
$22,050 $28,665
$25,790 $33,527
$29,530 $38,389
$33,270 $43,251
$37,010 $48,113

For family units with more than 8 members, add $3,740-$4,862 for each additional member.

If you would like to fill out one of our pre-application forms, click below and call up the PDF form.

Pre-application Package



Enrollment in the Head Start program is ongoing. Preschool children whose parents reside in the Self Help service area and are low-income (meet above income guidelines) age 3 to 5 are eligible for the program. Working families who do not meet the above income guidelines and have a child age 3 to 5 may still be eligible for Head Start Program through the Community Partnerships Program if they meet that programs income guidelines. Under the Community Partnerships program families pay a sliding fee based on total family income.

To enroll your child in the Self Help Head Start Program please visit our main office at the Ulysses G. Shelton, Jr. Head Start Center, 370 Howard St., Brockton or call the Head Start Administrative offices at 508-587-1716 to ask questions or set up an appointment. Applications will also be accepted from any of our Head Start locations. In order to process your application you should bring the following documents with you when you apply for enrollment:

  • Proof of income (4 pay stubs, W-2 form, or print out from your Public Assistance provider
  • Child's birth certificate or baptismal record
  • Social Security cards for all family members
  • Signed documentation from a Physician, Therapist or other medical specialist if your child has any disabilities or handicaps
  • Up to date immunizations with most recent physical informtion.
  • Dental record if available












Head Start Locations:

Head Start Administrative Offices
and Classrooms
Ulysses G. Shelton, Jr.
Head Start Center
370 Howard St
Brockton, Ma. 02302


Fax: 508-587-1717

Head Start Classrooms
Briggs School
908 Oak Hill Ave
Attleboro 02703


Fax: 508-223-3578

Demoranville School
35 Pleasant St
Middleboro 02356


Fax: 508-947-5774

Corthelll School
168 Whitman Ave.
Whitman 02382


Fax: 781-447-5462

First Congregational Church
76 Pierce St
Stoughton 02072


Fax: 781-344-0491

James Savage Educational Center
275 Prospect St.
Norwood 02062


Fax: 781-255-0436

McKinley School
394 Union St.
Rockland 02370


Fax: 781-882-0952

Norton Head Start
77 East Main St
Norton 02766


Fax: 508-285-9507


The Role of Parents

At Head Start we believe that parents, as the primary educators of their children, must be directly involved in their child's education. Since the well being of the child is linked to the well being of the entire family, Head Start offers support for parents in child rearing, education, dad's groups and creating opportunities for self sufficiency. Parents are always made welcome in the classroom and encouraged to become involved in their child's Head Start program. Many parents become classroom volunteers. In addition, a large percentage of our Head Start staff are parents of current or former Head Start students.

Parents serve as members of the Head Start Policy Council and have a voice in administration and policy decision-making.

Head Start offers classes and workshops for parents in many subjects, including parenting and nutrition, as well as developmentally appropriate activities that parents can do with their children at home. In addition, parents may be helped towards their individual goals. Some may be referred to employment and training programs or further education institutions. Assistance is available for parents wishing to obtain their General Equivalency Diploma (GED) or attend English as a Second Language (ESL) classes.

The Head Start Family Workers are available for families in crisis, offering help and support with problems such as substance abuse, job loss or lack of income, housing retention problems or lack of basic needs. Because of the unique trust between staff and families, and its links with the area community agencies, Head Start is an important catalyst for change in our service area.



Last Updated: JANUARY 5, 2010