Head Start Core Values

Quality - Striving to consistently provide the highest level of service to children and families. Head Start leadership seeks to create a dynamic and cohesive environment that fosters commitment and supports continuous improvement. To effectively accomplish its goals, Head Start respects, values, and uses the contributions of each child, family, and staff member, and Head Start respects and values the time, effort, and resources that the community provides.

Inclusion - Building a community where each child and adult is treated as an individual while maintaining a sense of belonging to the group. An inclusive community values, respects, and responds to diversity-in culture, ethnicity, language, and ability.

Empowerment - Believing that people can identify their own needs and interests and are capable of finding solutions and making changes. Head Start offers people opportunities and support for growth and change.

Collaboration - Building relationships among children, families, staff, and the larger community. A network of community agencies and informal networks in partnership with on another serves families. Head Start does not act alone, but it is a key player in a community of providers.

Learning - Creating for children, parents and staff a culturally sensitive environment in which enhancing awareness, refining skills, and understanding are valued and promoted. Children, parents, and staff can teach and learn from one another.

Advocacy - Reaffirming that personal responsibility is critical to change, while acknowledging that social and economic factors negatively affect the lives and promise of children and families. Change occurs at the individual and systems levels and addresses both the symptoms and underlying causes.

Wellness - Embracing a comprehensive vision of health for children, families, and staff that assures that basic health needs are met; encourages practices that prevent future illness or injury; and promotes positive, culturally relevant health behaviors that enhance the lifelong well-being.

Diversity - Recognizing and embracing the idea that all members of the Head Start community - children, families, and staff - have roots in many cultures. Head Start families and staff, working together as a team, effectively transform negative responses to promote respectful, sensitive, and proactive approaches to diversity issues within their programs.

Continuity - Creating a continuum of care, education, and services to provide stable, uninterrupted support to families and children during the early childhood period beginning with birth through age eight.

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