ABC Head Start is a comprehensive early learning, family support and community connection program for families with low-incomes.
All Head Start programs in Edmonton have four core services:
1. Early Learning programming:
We offer a ½ day preschool program for children ages of 3.5 to 5.5 years old. The program runs from September to June - Tuesday to Friday morning OR afternoon. There are only 18 children in each classroom and children can be bussed to and from school free of charge.
In compliance with the Interagency Head Start Standards classrooms are set-up to provide children with play experiences that will help them learn and grow. We have many small groups, individual and large group learning activities that support each child's interests and needs.
All Head Start children have personal learning plans. These plans will be different for each child, depending on that child's strengths and learning needs.
Home Educating is available for children who would benefit from extra services, and are eligible for Program Unit Funding (PUF) through Alberta Education. This allows us to provide extra services, including weekly in-home visits.
2. Family Support and Involvement:
ABC Head Start creates a place that helps families with parenting and family life. Social Workers at each site work closely with each family to find meaningful ways they can be involved in Head Start. We provide weekly parent groups and many other opportunities for parents to connect with one another. For more information see the Parents as Partners page.
3. Family & Community Connections:
Most families are connected to Head Start for only one year. Throughout the year we provide opportunities for families to connect to health, education and community services. A part of our job is to help
children be ready for Kindergarten and to connect families to services that will continue to help family's meet their needs after they leave Head Start.
ABC Head Start believes having volunteers from the community makes our program better. Volunteers help us in many ways, most often they are people interested in spending time with children, reading books, playing in the classroom or helping the teachers. We also have a Volunteer Coordinator who works hard to make sure all volunteers have a great experience with Head Start. Maybe you or a friend would like to volunteer? If so, give us a call. For more information see our Community and Volunteer Involvement page.
4. Multidisciplinary & Community Partnerships:
At each location there is an ABC Head Start team which includes: a certified teacher, two educational assistants, a speech-language pathologist, a social worker, and sometimes a volunteer from the
Additionally, Head Start relies on the help of other agencies to help us do the work we do. Many of these partner agencies work directly in Head Start classrooms. Other partners provide support to families outside of Head Start.
We actively advocate for programs, services and social policy that works towards poverty reduction and equal opportunities for all children and families.
Download a PDF of our program brochure here.