"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world". Nelson Mandela
Education and Curriculum
WHS provides a comprehensive preschool educational program for children ages 3-5 years old. Our youth are assessed three times each program year to determine progress towards kindergarten readiness. The curriculum and assessments are aligned with the standards for the State of Delaware and the local school districts. Our staff conducts home visits and parent teacher conferences to share the progress each child makes throughout the year.
We have a great curriculum that will expose your child to life learning experiences such as learning to use their language skills, socialize with peers, write their names, develop longer attention spans, and become independent.
Wilmington Head Start uses 5 curricula to enhance your child’s learning. Our Creative Curriculum builds on a strong foundation of best practices in early childhood education. Promoting Alternative Thinking Skills (PATHS) is our curriculum that is also used by the Red Clay School District to help our children understand and manage their feelings.
Research finds that the math skills children have when they enter kindergarten has a significant impact on school success. This is why we implement High Five Mathematize curriculum.
Handwriting Without Tears (HWT) is an award winning curriculum to get your child prepared for school. HWT is a developmentally appropriate, multi-sensory approach to readiness skills.
The Positive Behavior Support (PBS) curriculum focuses on developing behavioral expectations that include clear, behavior expectations, how to teach the behaviors and how the behaviors will be consistently and systematically encouraged and acknowledged.
At Wilmington Head Start, Inc. we value the statement “parents are the first teachers of their children” and because of this, we strive to encourage family engagement, open communication and collaborative family and staff relationships. For children who may have special needs, we ensure those needs are met in conjunction with the parent and school district. Along with the great educational benefits offered, WHS offers health and nutrition services to our youth and support services to parents and families.
Another great benefit families at WHS gain is a Family Service Advocate (FSA). Each family will be assigned an FSA to work with them throughout their tenure at WHS. FSAs work closely with families to help coordinate services and needs. This includes working with parents and medical professionals to ensure that children’s medical appointments are current and also aiding parents in assessing community resources such as employment services and housing.
WHS welcomes and strongly encourages family involvement, volunteerism and transparency to continue our legacy of maintaining strong family and goal-orientated relationships. To assist with communication and oversight of our program, we encourage family participation in both the Parent Committee and the Policy Council. Also, at WHS, father engagement is vital to the success of our children and families. Male
family members and father figures play key roles in the healthy development of children. We happily embrace and celebrate the diversity of all of our families.
Nutrition and Food Service
Wilmington Head Start Food Service Department insures that children at WHS receive fortified and healthy meals.The meals are prepared in a fully equipped restaurant licensed facility that services four educational centers. Our daily routine consists of preparing and delivering 1100 meals that meet or exceed U.S.D.A. regulations . We strive to use the highest quality vendors to supply U.S.D.A. and Child Nutrition approved food items.
Our vendors not only supply quality food items but keep us informed of market pricing, new food items, and dietary needs. The Head Start Performance Standards for Nutrition encourage healthy food choices. We do not serve sugar, salt or other items that do not meet U.S.D.A. regulations; this would also include the frying of foods. WHS also does not serve any pork or pork products. We ask that you do not send candy or snack items to school. A child with allergies is required by the Federal Regulations to have a Special Precautions form signed by their physician with specifics of the allergic reaction with the child. Please note we will do everything possible to fulfill the requirements for your child to have a healthy meal.
Your child will be experiencing new food items throughout the year as we at Wilmington Head Start believe in diversity throughout the program along with making meal time a happy, learning experience. Every child will be served 2 meals per day (breakfast and lunch). Children who attend the full day program will also receive an afternoon snack. The children will be experiencing new food items throughout the year.
Each month a copy of the breakfast and lunch menu will be sent home. Please look at it with your child and discuss what is going to be served. Encourage your child to try new foods. Parents are encouraged to participate in menu planning.
Wilmington Head Start values the health of our families and children. Health education is incorporated into the curriculum, and proper health and hygiene procedures will be followed daily in our classrooms. Periodically, WHS will provide education and training to families, staff, and interested community members on preventative health, oral health, and mental health topics and practices. WHS provides services to children with disabilities. The children participate in all activities to the extent of their abilities. WHS has partnerships with Red Clay School District and Brandywine School District. The partnership serves children with special needs in each of our programs. The children can attend a WHS preschool program for four and a half hours a day, or attend our full day program, five days a week and receive services at the Head Start classroom.
In extreme cases of aggression, oppositional or out of control behavior by a child, which could result in injury to the child or others, our teaching and management staff is trained in Handle With Care.
Handle With Care is a safe, non-harmful behavior management system designed to provide the best possible care and welfare of assaultive, disruptive or out-of-control children. Please speak to your Center Manager for any questions.
Wilmington Head Start contracts with First Student Bus Company to provide transportation services to and from all of its educational centers. Transportation is provided to children requiring transportation outside the "walking distance" (typically 2-3 blocks from the center). WHS provides at least two bus monitors on every bus route to provide for the care and safety of each child. During enrollment, the family will be asked if the child will require transportation. If the child is not attending a commercial daycare center, the family will be provided with pick-up and drop-off location and time along with one of the many bus routes throughout the city.
We strive to make certain that the bus stop is no more than 3-4 blocks from the child's residence, Our Head Start program partners with over 30 commercial daycare facilities within the city of Wilmington. If the child is attending a commercial daycare center, then the bus will stop at daycare for pickup and drop-off. Please be advised that only commercial daycare centers, as authorized by Wilmington Head Start, will receive the service. Centers providing transportation services must ensure that each bus used to transport children is equipped with the appropriate height and weight child safety restraint systems.
Parents are encouraged to be at least 10 minutes prior to pick-up or drop-off time. Due to traffic and other conditions, WHS cannot guarantee the pickup and drop-off times. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Tara Watson at (302) 762-8038 Ext. 213, or fax (302) 762-5678.
Please note that Wilmington Head Start will use photos for publicity. If you do not wish for your child to be photographed or included in advertising or promotions, please make sure you communicate your preference with your FSA and your child’s Teacher.
If you are on WHS property please do not take photographs of staff or children other than your own without permission from WHS staff.