For over 40 years, Yeled v’Yalda’s Head Start program has served as a foundation for its large and growing family of programs. Our Head Start program has grown to include over 25 centers with close to 100 classrooms, serving children and their families throughout Brooklyn and Staten Island. Yeled v’Yalda provides high-quality early childhood education along with support and services designed to promote the school readiness of preschool children from low-income backgrounds, regardless of disability. Our program’s mission is to improve the lives of children and their families by enhancing their cognitive, educational, and social-emotional development, and to help them succeed in school and throughout life. Yeled v’Yalda’s Head Start program continually strives to ensure that children receive high-quality educational, social, health, and nutritional services, tailored to the individual needs of each child, and in an environment that nurtures each child’s growth and development. At Yeled v’Yalda, we ensure that all children are given access to the best opportunities for future achievement and success by providing them with a head start on life!

About Head Start

At Yeled v’Yalda, we provide children ages three through five with a safe, nurturing environment that fosters and enriches their growth and development and supports each child in developing to their full potential.  Our stimulating learning environment helps children gain the skills and confidence they need to flourish and thrive within their Head Start classroom.  Yeled v’Yalda’s Head Start program utilizes an evidence- and research-based curriculum, with individualized lesson plans designed to meet the needs of every child, emphasizing the inclusion of children with special needs.

Our program focuses on two generations- parents and their children- and stimulates family enrichment and economic mobility by engaging parents in their children’s learning and development, and by helping families progress in their educational, literacy, employment, socio-economic, health, and life goals.  Parents are provided with tools, supports, and services which enable them to partner with Yeled v’Yalda in helping their children thrive throughout preschool, grade school, and beyond.

Services

Yeled v’Yalda’s Head Start program promotes school readiness by fostering the overall development of the whole child.  Our program supports the growth and progress of children within a positive learning environment through a variety of services, including early learning, health, and family well-being.  Yeled v’Yalda’s Head Start program is center-based and offers a variety of service models determined by the needs of the local community.

Yeled v’Yalda’s Head Start services not only provide an early childhood program, but health, social services, and parent-engagement programs as well.  Since parents are their children’s primary and essential teachers, Yeled v’Yalda provides parents with the knowledge and tools to offer their children high-quality early learning experiences and encourages secure and stable parent-child relationships.  It is our fundamental belief that significant positive change occurs in the lives of children when the whole family is involved in their development. 

Ongoing evaluation on a family and community level ensures that we continually make the necessary adjustments to our overall program in order to benefit all families and all children.  In addition, we actively value and promote each family’s culture and home-language development while simultaneously working on English language acquisition.

Yeled v’Yalda is devoted to supporting children so that they advance in all the developmental domains of Head Start’s “Early Learning Outcomes Framework” (ELOF), which include learning, social-emotional, language and literacy, cognition, perceptual, motor, and physical development. This framework prepares children to succeed in kindergarten, as part of the Head Start program’s current “School Readiness Goals Initiative.” Yeled v’Yalda uses the research-based “Creative Curriculum,” and various screening and assessments tools to ensure that each child, regardless of disability, can achieve maximal growth and success. Yeled v’Yalda places an emphasis on fostering successful teacher-child interactions within the classroom, which studies have shown is an indicator of success in school readiness.

The outstanding quality of our Head Start program is a source of great pride for Yeled v’Yalda, and is evidenced by our superior outcomes in the 2020 Focus Area One Review, conducted by the Administration for Children and Families. This review identified and acknowledged highlights in all performance areas, indicating zero concerns, deficiencies, or areas requiring improvement. Our program’s exceptional quality is also demonstrated by our continually successful child outcomes data in all domains, particularly school-readiness goals. We also take pride in a variety of other agency recognitions and achievements, including our robust network of community partnerships and collaborations; our flawless history of securing and maintaining facility licensure; our NAEYC Early Learning Program Accreditation; our high quality STARS ratings from New York State’s Quality Rating & Improvement System for early childhood programs; and our prestigious Outstanding Early Childhood Award from the NYS Education Department’s Office of School Improvement and Community Services.

Yeled v’Yalda’s Head Start program serves close to 1,500 children, providing education and child development services within a classroom setting, along with family home-visits at least twice per year. A majority of our program’s classrooms are located in licensed childcare facilities which partner with our program for the provision of Head Start services. Each classroom is staffed with a fully qualified teacher or caregiver, working under the supervision of an education director, and supported by assistant teachers or caregivers, and family-service workers. A significant benefit of Yeled v’Yalda’s center-based Head Start program is that it provides parents with high-quality childcare along with outstanding educational services in a setting that supports parents’ ability to begin or return to work.

Yeled v’Yalda’s Head Start program also provides a unique option to accommodate its more than 70 Head Start children who are home-bound and unable to attend a center-based program due to severe and/or chronic illness. Yeled v’Yalda offers a full-range of Head Start services through weekly home visits to each of the program’s children and their families. Our program provides child-focused sessions that promote parents’ ability to support their child’s growth and development. The program also includes opportunities for parents and children to get together with other families, and to meet in groups for learning, discussion, and social activity.

Yeled v’Yalda’s Head Start “Creative Curriculum” includes “Teaching Strategies GOLD” (TSG), an assessment system that monitors the 38 measurable objectives that align with the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework (ELOF). Teachers are responsible for consistently documenting data, which includes examples of children’s academic work as well as descriptions of their progress and development. TSG checkpoints are completed three times per year, in the fall, winter, and spring, at which time teachers review progress and performance, to ensure that each child is accurately recorded in the color band and level that accurately represents their current abilities. At each checkpoint, individual child reports, a class profile report, and class snapshot reports are created. Teachers are able to immediately use information from ongoing monitoring and assessment results to plan for the class as a whole, as well as individually for each child. These assessment results reflect how a child is progressing and indicate future areas to target. This enables teachers to plan small and large group activities and experiences that address appropriate learning goals for all children, and link teaching and assessment to best support the highest quality education.

Children and families in Yeled v’Yalda’s Head Start program greatly benefit from a host of in-house partnerships that Yeled v’Yalda offers to meet their needs. Using our own special education and Early Intervention services, Yeled v’Yalda has established a system for providing comprehensive, child-specific special services to children with disabilities at all sites and locations of Yeled v’Yalda’s Head Start program. Our services include multi-disciplinary evaluations, special education, and related services, which include speech-language pathology, occupational therapy, physical therapy, counseling, and Early Intervention. Teachers or school disabilities coordinators participate in IEP meetings whenever possible, to ensure that the needs of the child are met, and to support parents in advocating for their children. Disabilities coordinators are present at each of Yeled v’Yalda’s Head Start sites to coordinate services for children with disabilities. Each disabilities coordinator is trained in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and is responsible for assisting the child and family through the Head Start process. Disabilities coordinators are familiar with and sensitive to the cultures and languages of the families they service.

Yeled v’Yalda recognizes the value and importance of parent and family involvement in ensuring the success of their children’s early education. Collaboration between parents, teachers and other professionals helps build the positive and goal-oriented relationships that allow children to advance and progress in their educational aims. A strong partnership between families and professionals allows children to benefit from the particular perspectives and experiences each has to offer, and creates a team atmosphere in which all participants are united in achieving each child and family’s individual goals. Yeled v’Yalda’s program staff partner with families and communities to prioritize inclusiveness and ensure that all cultures and languages are valued and respected. Yeled v’Yalda’s family engagement goals support building and fostering key family relationships and interactions, including those of expectant women and their families, as well as parents, grandparents, siblings, and other adult caregivers in a child’s life. This process is based on an ongoing partnership between families and Head Start staff and professionals that recognizes and respects the parent-child relationship as crucial to a child’s growth and well-being in school, at home, and throughout life.

Yeled v’Yalda’s family workers are responsible for introducing families to the Head Start program. Family workers receive ongoing supervision from the Parent, Family and Community Engagement Coordinator (PFCE). A critical component of our work with families is the establishment of an individualized Family Partnership Agreement (FPA). The FPA identifies strengths and weaknesses, creates goals and priorities, and establishes timetables and strategies towards the achievement of the family’s goals, with an intended outcome being the establishment of self-sufficiency. The goals outlined in the FPA are aligned with the seven outcomes of the Head Start Parent, Family, and Community Engagement (PFCE) framework.

Yeled v’Yalda places a premium upon both education and prevention. Regularly scheduled workshops are available to provide parents with preventive coping strategies and services, and we offer 24/7 teleconferences on a wide variety of topics to accommodate working parents. Our parent education effort includes a focus on increasing father involvement in day to day child-rearing, and we offer “Focus on Father” workshops as well as opportunities for fathers to engage with their children in the school setting. Nutritional education and services is another main focus of Yeled v’Yalda’s Head Start program. We believe that optimal nutrition contributes to a healthy lifestyle, and we provide an array of services to educate parents to maximize their child and family’s overall good health and nutrition.

How to Enroll

For inquiries, additional information, or to request an application for Yeled v’Yalda’s Head Start program, please contact Mrs. Judy Greenfeld at 718.686.2400.

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