Head Start Frequently Asked Questions
All Head Start centers are licensed by the State of Minnesota and must meet Federal Head Start Performance Standards.
Parents complete a Special Diet Statement to alert staff to their child’s condition. Special diet needs are closely monitored by nutrition staff to make sure appropriate foods are substituted, as needed.
Yes, staff and children share ‘family style’ meals together. Head Start guidelines require all foods must be low-fat, low-salt, low-sugar, and high in nutrients. Pork or pork products are not served.
Daily classroom schedules and lesson plans are posted in the centers. Letters, event notices, training flyers, permission slips, children's artwork, and other materials are sent home regularly in each child's backpack.
Teachers attend continuous trainings in behavior guidance. The Head Start Program follows Minnesota state licensing guidelines and does not allow hitting, spanking, shaming, or any other forms of punishment.
A maximum of 20 children per session.
Parents are a child’s first and most important teachers. Head Start’s goal is to work together with parents to strengthen each child’s skills and self-confidence and prepare the child to succeed in school.
Parents receive information about school choices and the registration process. With your permission, we will also send your child’s education and screening records to your child’s next school. Staff members from St. Paul Public Schools attend special meetings and family fun events to help parents understand the school choices that are available and help parents fill out applications.
The program offers a number of support groups for parents of children with disabilities. It also offers various mental health services for children, including therapeutic classrooms, social support groups, individual skill building, and other support for families.
Yes! Children with disabilities make up at least 10% of the entire program's enrollment. All Head Start children receive a developmental screening. The program has child development, family, and mental health specialists who work with parents, staff, and children with suspected or identified special needs.
Classrooms have either two teacher-qualified staff persons (as defined by Minnesota licensing guidelines) or a teacher-qualified staff person and an assistant or aide.
Yes, field trips are part of each child’s Head Start experience. Parents must give written permission for each field trip, and parents are welcome to participate in the field trip as volunteers.
Half-day sessions are Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. (morning) and 1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. (afternoon). Full-day program hours vary according to the program and/or location.