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Davis Journal

Head Start program benefits children and parents

Dec 11, 2020 04:35PM ● By By Becky Ginos

By Becky Ginos | [email protected]

KAYSVILLE—Davis School District is the only district in the state that is a grantee of a Head Start program. The federally funded program serves children from birth to age 5 and their families. 

“It started in the mid-90s,” said Teresa Oster, director of Early Childhood Programs, Early Head Start, Head Start, Title I Preschool. “We targeted teen parents at Mountain High and Davis Technical College (DTC) students. Mountain High was all teen parents at the time, it was not an alternative high school. When it was transformed in to an alternative school there was not enough enrollment so we transitioned to the community.”

When DTC President Darin Brush came on board two years ago he didn’t want there to be any barriers for students, she said. “If any parent wanted to attend school Brett Lund our Family, Fatherhood and Outreach specialist would make it possible. Low income and homeless parents sometimes don’t even consider going back to school. Brett is wonderful to sit with them and walk them through the paperwork.”

The Head Start facility is right across the street from the DTC. “It’s worked really well so parents can drop off their little ones. We’re here for eight hours so it helps parents know they have their child in a safe, high quality program while they’re in school,” said Oster. “The biggest obstacle is to help parents have the confidence that they can be successful.”

DTC and Workforce Services put together a scholarship support system for families, said Lund. “We created some opportunities for them to get tours of the campus and take them by the hand so they would feel more confident in the process.”

Lund said they’ve had several parents who have used their services to be successful in school. “Dana was one of our parents who found out about the Head Start program. She was going through a divorce and her husband was incarcerated. She ended up being one of our Policy leaders. She’s been a great representative for Head Start while getting an education too.”

Another woman was dealing with a domestic violence situation, he said. “She had lost a lot of confidence in her life. She went into the dental assisting program and now she’s applying to Weber State to become a dental hygienist. She turned her life around.”

The biggest contribution parents make is being an example to their kids of how important education is, said Lund. “They show them it’s never too late to go back to school and go for your dreams.”

The great thing is Head Start has a two generational approach, he said. “We work with the parents to better support their families and make sure any parent who wants to go back to school to make that happen through our partnership with DTC. So many of these parents have such a desire to set a good example for their children in challenging circumstances — it’s inspiring to me.”