Educational Programs

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Preschool Recruitment Days for 2020-2021

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Head Start

Head Start, administered by South Central Iowa Community Action Program (SCICAP), has been in operation since 1966. Head Start programs operate with a variety of program options in independent centers and public schools in five southern Iowa rural counties; Clarke, Decatur, Lucas, Monroe and Wayne.

We have five independent State-Licensed Head Start centers offering high quality educational programs at no cost to qualifying families. In addition, we have collaborations with four school districts and one child care center, all in different capacities; some where we share children and staff. Our independent centers and school districts serving Head Start children have agreed to follow Head Start Performance Standards, which the Iowa Department of Education recognizes as a sign of high quality and exemplary programs. The Head Start Program is always individualized for ALL children and parent engagement.

These age-appropriate, quality comprehensive programs provide 180 children with school readiness skills, nutritious breakfasts, lunches and snacks, health screenings, social services and parent engagement opportunities. All classrooms in our five counties have qualified teachers, to best serve our children so they are school ready. All centers/schools are using Creative Curriculum and Teaching Strategies GOLD Assessments. Our goal is for children to be school ready, but more importantly to be lifelong learners.

All sites currently have a Quality Rating System (QRS) rating. The QRS program was created in 2006 to raise the quality of child care in Iowa, increase the number of children in high-quality child care settings, and educate parents about quality in child care. This voluntary program provides a rating of between one and five stars for providers who go the extra mile to offer exceptional child care. We have also partnered with two local Area Education Agencies (AEA) – Great Prairie and Green Hills – to provide additional services and resources to our Head Start children and their families.

In three counties – Lucas, Clarke and Decatur, State Wrap-Around funds allow us to provide extended hours, 6:00 am to 6:00 pm, to assist families with working parents or those needing to fulfill schooling and training obligations. We also receive Duration funds for Lucas and Clarke counties allowing children to attend school five days per week. We have State Shared Vision programs in two counties - Monroe and Wayne, which offer full day services to children.

Joseph Okoduwa
SCICAP Early Childhood Education
Head Start/Early Head Start Director
641-774-8133 Ext. 236

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.

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


Monroe County
Lucas County
Wayne County
Wayne County
Decatur County
Monroe County
Clarke County
Clarke County

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