Early Head Start Educational Programs

Shelter & Health Assistance

Early Head Start

South Central Iowa Community Action Program (SCICAP) operates an Early Childhood Center in Decatur County in addition to home-based services which include Decatur, Clarke, Lucas, Monroe, and Wayne counties, depending on availability and openings.

Our Early Head Start center in Decatur County has an infant room serving up to four infants and a toddler room serving up to eight toddlers, for a total of 12 children. The center uses the research-based online Teaching Strategies GOLD by Diane Trister Dodge, to be consistent with our Head Start Programs. In addition, State Wrap Around funds allow the center to provide extended hours, 6:00 am to 6:00 pm, to assist families with working members or those needing to fulfill schooling and training obligations. The EHS center is licensed by the State of Iowa and has a five-star Quality Rating System (QRS) rating. 

We provide a home-based program in our five counties depending on highest points and need, using the Parents As Teacher (PAT) curriculum. We serve a total of 20 participants in the five county area. The home-based program serves pregnant women and children from birth to three years of age. The ASQ and ASQ-SE are used for screening tools.  

Our Community Assessment shows there is a need to serve more Early Head Start clients, as there is a need for comprehensive, quality childcare, which low income families are unable to afford. We will continue to watch for EHS expansion which will serve rural counties.

Nancy Schnurr, BS/MA/ED
SCICAP Early Childhood Education
Head Start/Early Head Start Director
641-774-8133 Ext. 236
nschnurr@scicap.org


Early Head Start Scores & Reviews

Brigance Developmental Screening is used in our Head Start setting. The screenings are completed at four times throughout the school year; fall – within the first two weeks class, winter – within the first 45 days of class, February, and spring – by the end of the school year. Our goal is to see growth throughout the entire year.

We utilize the Teaching Strategies GOLD Curriculum throughout the year. The six domains that are tracked by the teachers in our centers are: Math, Fine Motor, Language, Literacy, Social Emotional and Cognitive. The following graph summarizes the data from Widely Held Expectations for fall 2018 through winter 2019. Spring data is yet to come in. Once the school year is complete, the graph will be updated. The data shows that overall as a program, our children have made significant growth in all six domain areas. We expect when spring data is collected, we will see even more growth in our students.

CLassroom Assessment Scoring System

Scoring Range – 1 through 7
Low – 1 or 2
Middle – 3, 4, or 5
High – 6 or 7

CLASS Dimensions:
  1. Positive Climate – Reflects the emotional connection between the teacher and students and among students and the warmth, respect and enjoyment communicated by verbal and nonverbal interactions.
  2. Negative Climate – Reflects the overall level of expressed negativity in the classroom; the frequency, quality and intensity of teacher and peer negativity are key to this scale. This score should be a 1.
  3. Teacher Sensitivity – Encompasses the teacher’s awareness of and responsiveness to students’ academic and emotional needs; high levels of sensitivity facilitate students’ ability to actively explore and learn because the teacher consistently provides comforts, reassurance and encouragement.
  4. Regard for Student Perspectives – Captures the degree to which the teacher’s interactions with students and classroom activities place an emphasis on students’ interests, motivations, and points of view and encourage student responsibility and autonomy.
  5. Behavior Management – Encompasses the teacher’s ability to provide clear behavioral expectations and use effective methods to prevent and redirect misbehavior.
  6. Productivity – Considers how well the teacher manages instructional time and routines and provides activities for students so that they have the opportunity to be involved in learning activities.
  7. Instructional Learning Formats – Focuses on the ways in which the teacher maximizes students’ interest, engagement, and ability to learn from lessons and activities.
  8. Concept Development – Measures the teacher’s use of instructional discussions and activities to promote students’ higher-order thinking skills and cognition and the teacher’s focus on understanding rather than on rote instruction.
  9. Quality of Feedback – Assesses the degree to which the teacher provides feedback that expands learning and understanding and encourages continued participation.
  10. Language Modeling – Captures the quality and amount of the teacher’s use of language-stimulation and language-facilitation techniques.

We are proud to report that our Head Start program has had perfect reviews for the past ten years, including all individual reviews following:
  1. Triennial
  2. CLASS
  3. Fiscal/ERSEA
  4. Environmental Health & Safety
  5. Comprehensive School Readiness
  6. Leadership Governance Management & Systems

Early Head Start Center

Leon, IA

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