Children receive health and development screenings, nutritious meals, oral health and mental health support. Programs connect families with medical, dental, and mental health services, and ensure that children are receiving the services they need.
Teaching good health habits is carried out throughout the year. Good health is one of our most precious gifts. We will do all we can to promote good health for Head Start children and families.
Health Screenings & Assesments
To be sure that all children are healthy, Head Start mandates a completed physical and dental exam within the first 90 days of the program year, and assist families with obtaining follow-up care. If your child’s physical or dental exam expires during his/her enrollment with Head Start, you will be asked to get a new exam and provide us with the proof as soon as possible.
All students should receive Growth, Hearing and Vision screenings and their 1st Fluoride Varnish requirement within the first 90 days of entering the program. Be sure to complete all immunizations. They are required for Head Start attendance.
Parents should ask their physicians to screen their child’s Blood Lead level and Hemoglobin level. If a child is not covered by Medicaid or Insurance, Head Start will assist you in receiving these services, with prior authorization.
Look for health and nutrition information in the Head Start newsletter The Sandbox, your information booklet, or ask your family advocate.
Good nutrition is an important part of being and staying healthy. Our program participates in the National School Lunch Program through the school district. Our menus are adapted to provide a variety of foods. Our afternoon snack menu seeks to provide new and different foods or to serve familiar foods in new ways. We provide food experiences in the classroom where children learn about good nutrition and help prepare nutritious foods. We strive to provide lower fat, low salt, low sugar, high vitamin/mineral foods through meals and food experiences.
We invite you to participate in classroom food experiences to share your nutritious family food traditions. Due to food safety and sanitation requirements, if food is brought to the classrooms or centers, (which is never required), it must be: Individually wrapped or brought in the original store package and opened at school; kept at the proper temperature to prevent spoilage (frozen or refrigerated); and nutritious.
We also ask you to feel free to help develop menus or to comment on menus we serve. You can provide input through your child’s teacher, family advocate or by joining the Health Services Advisory Committee. Please feel free to call our Health Coordinators if you have ideas to share or concerns, (973) 350-5746.
Our Standards require that everything we feed children at Head Start be low in sugar, fat and salt, as science has found that high amounts of these three ingredients do not support good health.
We also have rules to avoid any possibility of food contamination that may make someone sick. We do not cook fresh meat. Any meat must be commercially prepared. All other food in the classroom must either be prepared in the classroom or be commercially prepared and come to school in its original sealed packaging.