Head Start/Early Intervention Department

Mission

The mission of the Broward County Head Start Program is to provide high quality comprehensive services to low-income children and their families to ensure social competence.

The mission of the Broward County Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) Program is to provide high quality instruction to four-year-old children ensuring Kindergarten readiness.

History

 

Head Start/Early Head Start

The District’s Head Start Program began as an eight-week summer program in 1965. Although the program was being offered in the elementary public schools, the Economic Opportunity Coordinating Group, a local community action agency was the selected grantee overseeing the program. In October of 1976, The School Board of Broward County, FL became the Head Start grantee offering services to 375 families. Over the years, the program has expanded to currently serve 2,040 Head Start and 80 Early Head Start families.

Diverse Head Start classes are held at 60 elementary school sites. These sites are selected based on the free lunch program data and the results of the Head Start Community Assessment Report. Head Start classes follow the 180-day school calendar. The program’s hours of operation adhere to each elementary school’s hours. After school care information is available at all elementary school locations.

Voluntary Prekindergarten

The District’s Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) Program opened in 2005 following the 2002 Florida State legislation authorizing the creation of a free, statewide preschool program serving four-year-olds. The District’s VPK program initially began with a 3-hour program model at 15 schools serving students from 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. The program has since expanded to provide full day classes as well as the original 3-hour model. State legislation mandates that all school systems offer VPK during the summer. During the Summer 2014, the District provided a full day VPK program (300 hours) to 150 students at 7 elementary school sites. Currently, the District serves over 700 students at 28 schools through a variety of VPK models during school year.