(Phoenix, AZ) The Arizona Head Start Association (AZHSA) is an organization where they provide families or children struggling opportunities to be better prepared for the future. “Arizona Head Start Programs provide high quality early childhood education, nutrition, health, mental health, disabilities, and social services with a strong parent involvement focus,” (AZHSA website).
The organization is working towards helping at risk families with infants, toddlers, and preschool children ages three to five. They also try to involve the parents by giving them leadership roles which they hope will lead to a positive family wellbeing.
“Programs assist families in meeting their own personal goals and achieving self-sufficiency across a wide variety of domains, such as housing stability, continued education, and financial security,” (AZHSA website).
The Arizona branch of the Head Start program started in 1995 combining private and public sectors to help at risk families. “The influence of AZHSA reaches far beyond its membership, creating and contributing to collaborative partnerships across the Early Childhood community and on every level of government,” (AZHSA website).
The Head Start program focuses on helping families in three different ways: early learning and development, health and family well-being.
In the early learning and development section, they focus on integrating children through relationships with adults, spontaneous learning and play. For health, they provide children full health screenings and nutritious meals, while also helping families find medical and dental practices. Family well-being is something that the Head Start program focuses a lot on the relationships between parents and children and helps the families achieve different goals. The program helps families work towards housing stability, continued education and financial securities.
This program annually serves nearly 23,000 children and over 21,500 families through 30 non-profit organizations.
“Altogether, Head Start programs provide comprehensive Head Start services at over 500 locations throughout the state and employ over 4,300 staff,” (AZHSA website).
There are different head start locations all over Arizona from the West Valley to the East. If you are interested and want to see if your family is eligible you can go to their website.