The Head Start Program provides quality comprehensive child development services to 1,380 three and four year old children and their families. In 2008, the program operated twenty-three centers and seventy-five classrooms. Children attend classes from 7:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. The program implements the High/Scope Curriculum which is a nationally recognized curriculum framework appropriate for young children. In addition, the program utilized the Second Step and Growing Readers curricula. Second Step is an anti-violence curriculum that emphasizes positive relationships, feelings, conflict resolution, and an overall positive classroom environment. The Growing Readers curriculum focuses on literacy development and experiences for preschool children. The lessons include alphabet recognition, phonological awareness, and critical thinking skills related to early literacy.
Also included in the daily classroom activities are a nourishing breakfast, lunch and snack. Children receive medical and dental screening and follow-up care as needed. Comprehensive services are also provided to children with special needs.
SHARE Early Head Start is currently serving one hundred and eighty-one infants and toddlers and thirteen pregnant women. The program has experienced numerous changes since its conception in 1995, which includes becoming a Program of Excellence, accredited by NAEYC and awarded two initiatives to provide training to other programs in the state.
The Region IV Head Start office has selected SHARE Head Start to receive the Early Head Start Model Classroom Initiative for the state of South Carolina. This initiative provides other Head Start programs in the state opportunities to observe appropriate practices with infants and toddlers, receive training to enhance services to children, pregnant women and their families, and mentoring to support the skills and knowledge of their staff.
To ensure children develop a close, reliable, and affectionate relationship while away from home each child is assigned to a teach/primary caregiver for the duration of their enrollment in the program. In group care, the teacher/primary caregiver is the person on whom the child can rely for reassurance, guidance, and basic care. They are attuned to the child's personal cues, interest, and strengths.