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News Article
 
WSOS Head Start Programs Expand Full-Day Preschool

Children and families will have more preschool opportunities thanks to expanded hours and added classrooms at local Head Start early learning centers.

WSOS Community Action Commission Head Start programs in Wood, Sandusky, Ottawa, Seneca and Lucas counties will expand full-day preschool options during the 2017-2018 school year. WSOS Head Start centers are located in Bowling Green, Clyde, Fremont, Fostoria, Genoa, Holland, Pemberville, Perrysburg/Rossford, Port Clinton, Tiffin and Toledo. All centers will offer full-day preschool options for children ages three through five.

Also, centers in Bowling Green, Clyde, Fostoria, and Perrysburg/Rossford will each open additional classroom spaces to serve more students.

WSOS Head Start centers began implementing full-day programs at select centers in 2016 along with part-day programs. Most centers will continue to offer part-day classes; however, many parents prefer full-day Head Start preschool, WSOS Child Development Director Jacquie Wells said.

“The full-day option makes it easier for parents to work and avoid the complications of arranging drop-offs and pick-ups that come with part-day preschool,” Wells said.

The move to full-day preschool also exemplifies the Head Start program’s continued focus on improvement since the program’s inception in 1964, as full-day preschool gives children greater access to learning opportunities through more time in the classroom. The Head Start program is federally funded through the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Head Start. Eventually, Head Start classrooms nationwide will transition into offering only full-day preschool as the Office of Head Start plans on phasing out part-day options and transitioning into full-day programs by 2021.

“More time in the classroom means more time for learning, socialization and other opportunities that give a fuller experience for children in the program,” Wells said. “This ultimately leads to our children being better prepared for kindergarten when they graduate from our classes and enter school.”

Head Start provides free preschool for parents who meet eligibility requirements. Though eligibility is largely based on Federal Poverty Guidelines, other factors are included when considering enrollment. Parents of children with disabilities or special needs are welcome to apply.

“All parents who are interested in Head Start should call for more information about the program,” Wells said. “We evaluate every family’s needs individually and encourage all to apply.”

WSOS also offers Early Head Start services for infants and toddlers ages birth to three, as well as Home-Based options in select counties.

For more information or to apply, visit www.wsos.org or call 419-334-8911 or 1-800-775-9767.