The Head Start/ Preschool program is a program that is available to the most vulnerable of children and families. When President Johnson initiated the War on Poverty, this program took action to help children who are from low-income families. Throughout this paper it will also be evident that this program also helps children who have a developmental delay and/or a disability as there is known association, according to various researchers in this paper, between children who are living in poverty and having a developmental delay and/or a disability. This paper will begin by describing the history of the Head Start program, what the focus of the Head Start program is, who they serve, barriers in the program, evidence-based practice and other research, and will end by explaining kindergarten readiness.

The purpose of this paper is to show how the Head Start/ Preschool program assists children who are from low-income families, have developmental delays, and/ or disabilities with transitioning into kindergarten or with school readiness. In order to understand how this program will assist with the transition into kindergarten, this paper will review what the Head Start/ Preschool program is, different aspects of the program that makes it successful, disadvantages and advantages to the program. There are many articles and studies that will provide evidence of how the Head Start/ Preschool program is helping children in multiple contexts of the child’s development versus only preparing the child for the education side of school.

By the end of this paper, readers will be able to conclude why this program is beneficial to vulnerable families who might not otherwise be able to receive pre-kindergarten education if the Head Start/ Preschool program wasn’t initiated and available. In addition to this, it will also be concluded by readers as to why the whole child approach that the Head Start/ Preschool program uses helps the child in preparing or transitioning into kindergarten. Most importantly, the information included in this paper will provide readers with evidence as to why this program is supportive and proactive in creating as smooth of a transition for vulnerable children into kindergarten.

Year Manuscript Completed

Spring 2021

Senior Project Advisor

Dr. Scott Douglas

Degree Awarded

Bachelor of Integrated Studies Degree

Field of Study

Human Services

Document Type

Thesis - Murray State Access only

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