Bright Beginnings is dedicated to meeting the immediate needs of children and families living in homelessness.
Bright Beginnings Center-Cased Program is a year-round Head Start and Early Head Start program for children six weeks to five-years-old that supports children’s progress and development through comprehensive services for children and families in the area of early learning, health, and family well-being.
The overall goal of Bright Beginnings’ Head Start and Early Head Start program is to provide children with a learning environment that helps them develop socially, emotionally, physically, and cognitively towards school readiness during their program enrollment. Our comprehensive, evidence-based services are built on the key principles of individualization and partnership with parents.
Bright Beginnings believes that the earliest years are the most important time of a child’s life as they learn how to trust, find a sense of security, interact appropriately with other people, self-regulate their behaviors and emotions, develop early literacy, math and science skills, gain self-confidence, share space, and develop verbal and non-verbal communication skills. To implement its overall education approach, the Center-Based Program utilizes the HighScope curriculum for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers as the foundation for all early childhood activities.
The HighScope Approach is a research-based curriculum that provides a framework through which teachers plan for children based on interest and level of development using observation and assessments within key content areas.
Bright Beginnings ensures on-going recording and evaluation of each individual child’s growth and development for the purpose of planning activities that meet his/her individual needs. Our program uses on-going methods to promote and support children’s strengths, needs, and progress using developmental screens and HighScope’s COR Advantage assessment tool. Our teachers use child assessment data to support curriculum development and individualized instruction to meet the unique needs of each child. Results are also compared against our school readiness goals and objectives under the eight COR Advantage content areas—Approaches to Learning, Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development and Health, Language, Literacy and Communication, Mathematics, Creative Arts, Science and Technology and Social Studies that are used to make data-driven decisions at various levels of the program.
Teachers also prepare a portfolio for each child that includes pictures, written observations, and work samples that capture children’s thoughts and ideas to discuss at parent-teacher conferences.
Our curriculum highlights the importance for teachers to ensure activities and resources are sensitive and responsive to the cultural and linguistic identity of all children enrolled in the center. Offering and creating multi-racial materials and experiences are included which help children identify and relate to their ethnic heritage. Support is provided in situations where language or cultural differences may hinder a child’s smooth adjustment into the classroom. During children’s enrollment, the program promotes experiences that foster the development of the following characteristics:
- Pride in themselves as individuals
- Pride in their family
- Pride in their race
- Development of the home language and English language learning
- Understanding of the relationship among different cultures
- Positive value of their school and community
Therapeutic, Health & Wellness
By providing early intervention to learning disabilities, delays, and health problems, Bright Beginnings ensures that children enter kindergarten ready to learn. All Bright Beginnings students receive therapeutic and health screenings within 45 days of enrollment at Bright Beginnings. Our therapeutic and health screenings help us develop individualized curriculum, health, therapeutic and social service plans for each child. Our free on-site therapeutic services detect and address developmental delays and/or disabilities prevalent in homeless children (i.e. language, speech, motor development and self-regulation.) Bright Beginnings’ therapeutic service team includes clinical psychologists, occupational therapists and speech/language pathologists- who work with our children, teachers, and parents to provide in-service training, classroom interventions and ongoing consultations.
BBI Therapeutic Strategy
- Maintain a supportive school environment that cultivates and promotes children’s social/emotional health, a positive self-concept, and appropriate social skills.
- Provide developmental and mental health screenings for all children within 45 days of entry to Bright Beginnings and utilize information from screenings, assessments, and evaluations to individualize the program for each child.
- Provide therapeutic services on site to support children’s development.
- Encourage and support parents’ active participation in addressing their children’s therapeutic needs with frequent consultations and progress reports.
- Provide on-going training and professional development for teachers on therapeutic, mental health, disability and social-emotional challenges.