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Tlingit-Haida takes Head Start into child-care homes

Posted: Sunday, September 09, 2001

Tlingit-Haida Head Start is accepting applications from family child-care home providers to deliver Head Start services to children in their care.

To introduce the program, Tlingit-Haida plans an open house from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at the Tlingit-Haida Central Council headquarters, 320 W. Willoughby, second floor. Family child-care providers and parents are encouraged to attend.

Head Start is an education program for young children and their families that prepares students for public school. The program began nationwide about 30 years ago.

Under the influence of welfare-to-work programs, the dynamics of child care are changing. In the past, Head Start educators could go into the home and work with unemployed parents and their children. Now, with more parents working or in training and their children out of the home, Head Start officials found they needed to provide services elsewhere.

"We are finding that the old home-based model does not work," said Linda Squibb, regional coordinator for Head Start, "so it's important that people know this is a new model."

Tlingit-Haida has three Head Start locations in Juneau, including a Tlingit immersion program in West Juneau.

"But we believe in the model of working in the home with small groups. Under this new model, a family child-care supervisor and an early childhood educator will work with the in-home child-care provider. They will go into the child-care provider's home once a week and work with each Head Start-eligible child for an hour and a half," Squibb said.

Providers will be eligible for a stipend depending on their qualifications and experience.

Through this new program, Head Start is planning to enroll 20 children, 3, 4 or 5 years old. The need is probably greater than 20, Squibb said, "but this is a pilot project."

For more information, call Nila Rinehart at 463-7150. For information about enrollment, call Katy Harman at 463-7159.

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Ann Chandonnet can be reached at achandonnet@juneauempire.com.



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