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Getting a Headstart


Early Head Start and Head Start are federal programs and have become the pillars of many communities. They provide free education and resource services for pregnant women, children and families who meet the required federal guidelines. Head Start creates a foundation for young children prepping them for school readiness. It understands that the ages and stages between 0-5 are crucial to a child’s cognitive, emotional and social well-being and offers children a haven to develop language and literacy, build friendships, explore creativity and manage conflict most of the day through routine play.

Head Start recognizes that the parent is the child’s first teacher and invites this input to guide the child’s education. The administrative staff welcomes parent involvement during and after school hours, from volunteering as a classroom reader to leading the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) or Head Start Policy Council.

Head Start values community connections and partnerships with and for their families and offers resources and monthly information sessions on topics such as lead poison or parental stress. Partnerships are built between the families, teachers and administration staff. Additional partnerships are established between the early childhood facility and the community services, such as New Jersey Early Intervention Services (NJEIS), which focuses on children with developmental delays and/or children who have been medically diagnosed with a physical or mental condition that typically results in developmental delays.

The wonderful aspects of Head Start are the many benefits its child development centers offer to children, families and the community. At CGE, we believe that connecting our mothers and children with community resources is an integral part of the therapeutic process, as it provides them with services we are not licensed to provide, while linking them to resources they can utilize in the future. CGE has established a great relationship with NJEIS, who visit our Adult Residential program several times a year and facilitate groups on early childhood development and other pertinent parenting topics. Several clients and children take advantage of these opportunities while attending our programs.

Katy’s Place—CGE’s on-site child development center for the children of clients in both the Adult and Adolescent Residential programs—and its licensed clinical and child development staff, provide education services to children three years old and younger. CGE’s Early Relational Health Specialists refer children over three to our local Head Start Program, informing clients of the program’s many benefits available to them as they transition back into the community.

Yes, it is still valid that it takes a village to raise a child. However, it takes connections to support and sustain the child’s village. This is a core tenet of CGE’s treatment philosophy.