The Special Services area is designed to identify, evaluate needs and coordinate services to children with special needs and their families. Head Start Centers provide the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) setting for children with disabilities. The goal of Special Services is to foster a positive environment where children with special needs can reach their full potential.
Head Start is a general education program, providing opportunities for all children with and without special needs to play and learn together, as well as learning to appreciate each other’s physical and cultural differences. The Head Start program supports the Special Education Goals for children with disabilities within the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). The Special Services Coordinator works closely with local school districts and agencies to provide services to these children.
Assisting the family through referrals, locating, and providing services with outside agencies for children with special needs are important functions of this service area. The Special Services Coordinator works with parents to ensure that they are educated about their child’s disability, and are aware of the child’s rights to the optimal available education. Parents/guardians are also encouraged to actively participate in the child’s assessment process to ensure that children’s needs are addressed through the Individualized Education Program (IEP).