SACFS provides Head Start eligible three- to five-year old children with a comprehensive early childhood development program focusing on education, health, nutrition, safety, and mental health services. SACFS also offers social services to the families of the children it serves and promotes parent involvement in the program.
SACFS operates two centers: Bronx Site located on Montgomery Avenue in the South Bronx and Lenox Site located in Central Harlem on Lenox Avenue.
SACFS Head Start funded enrollment is for 128 three- to five-year olds. The Lenox Site collaborates with the Universal Pre-Kindergarten program which enables this site to offer an extended-day program. SACFS operates year-round except for an annual closing for 3 weeks in August and one week for the winter holiday (December).
SACFS is staffed by a highly qualified and dedicated team of 25 trained professionals which include former Head Start parents.
Child health and development services:
Each child enters the program with a current physical examination, including immunization and TB test. Social Service Staff work with the family to identify and access health providers and other services as needed. Vision, speech, and hearing screenings and dental examinations are provided on-site.
Education and early childhood development:
SACFS Head Start uses the Creative Curriculum which follows the philosophy that children learn best by doing. The Curriculum enables children’s awareness of the basic processes and incorporates opportunities in the classroom which enrich and extend their developmental skills. The Creative Curriculum readily aligns itself with the Head Start Outcomes framework. Utilizing themes and interest areas, children develop language and literacy, logical reasoning, and an understanding of spatial relations. Children’s imagination and physical growth are enhanced through movement, music and dramatic play. They are encouraged to develop their own sense of self through creative expression, initiative and social relationships.
Child health and safety:
To ensure children’s health and safety, SACFS requires parents to inform SACFS of any health or safety needs of their child such as allergies, asthma, high lead levels and other health concerns. The staff makes it possible for all enrolled children to receive appropriate health care services by consulting with parents immediately when health or developmental problems are suspected or identified.
Fire drills are conducted each month and emergency procedures posted in each classroom. All classrooms and other public areas are child-proofed. Staff members are trained on the prevention of child abuse and certified in First Aid and CPR. Each classroom is supplied with a First Aid Kit and emergency contact numbers are posted in each center. Teachers incorporate health and safety information in class curriculum. A number of staff members have been trained to administer medication.
A well-balanced lunch and snack is provided daily, free of charge to every child in the program. Parents share in the child’s nutritional experience by bringing cultural dishes to class, participating in menu planning and taking part in the Nutrition Committee. A licensed Nutritionist Consultant assists in providing counseling and workshops for parents, prepares menus and designs child-appropriate nutrition activities.
Child mental health:
The Brigance Preschool Screening is used upon enrollment to identify children who may be in need of early intervention. Children identified with special needs receive on-site services from Special Needs Providers, as well as, referrals to appropriate agencies in the community.