Beginning this year approximately one-third of all Head Start programs in the nation will be selected to compete for its program. Over the next three years all Head Start grants will be transitioned from multiyear grants to five-year fixed term grants.
Office of Head Start notified St. Mary/Vermilion Community Action Agency in December that its Head Start program was selected to participate in this competition process this year.
The basis for this school readiness strategy is to ensure that all programs are delivering high-quality comprehensive services that meet all needs of the children and families; including educational, health, nutritional and social. These strategies also make certain that all applicable program and financial management requirements and standards are adhered to.
Over the past couple of years, St. Mary CAA has worked diligently to establish and im-plement program goals meant to improve school readiness of children participating in a Head Start program. All of these goals are aligned with the Head Start Child Development and Early Learning Framework. By implementing these school readiness goals, children are prepared to enter kindergarten by mastering a number of skills, including language, literacy, cognition, general knowledge, approaches towards learning, physical well being, motor development, social and emotional development.
St. Mary CAA has partnered with local education agencies in St. Mary and Vermilion parishes, to create and implement a plan of action for achieving established school readiness goals. The agency’s Head Start program has been in existence since 1967 and currently operates 15 centers, serving 664 children and their families in the parishes of St. Mary and Vermilion. Children attending Head Start live in 10 municipalities, Morgan City, Franklin, Patterson, Berwick, Baldwin, Erath, Abbeville, Maurice, Gueydan, and Kaplan, as well as surrounding areas. The agency looks forward to participating in this process and is confident that the outcome will be that St. Mary/Vermilion Head Start program is one of the best in the country. Details of the recompetition are forthcoming. St. Mary CAA’s Board of Directors, Policy Council and Management Team will participate throughout the entire process.