To be a vibrant and progressive educational agency supporting the development of children 0-5 years of age while promoting healthy family functioning for Head Start children and families in Berrien, Cass and Van Buren Counties.
To partner with families, staff and communities in providing quality services with compassion and professionalism to achieve stability, guidance and a positive educational experience.
"Head Start - a jump start on education." That's how the parent of one child sums up Tri-County Head Start. Our Federally funded program has helped more than 15,000 low income 3 to 4 year old children and families in Berrien, Cass and Van Buren counties learn and grow since 1970.
Tri-County Head Start helps families meet their children's educational, nutritional, health, social and emotional needs by providing a number of services
in centers and homes by linking families with other service providers. Head Start programs are run by and for parents of the children that Head Start serves. Parents direct our policy, plan and budget.
We assure children's participation in well child care, including physical and dental examination, and provide assistance in connecting parents with a continuing source of care for their child. Head Start children receive meals and snacks that meet a third of their daily nutritional needs.
Head Start encourages children to expand language and thinking skills, develop small and large muscles, and learn socialization and cooperation. Our classrooms are interesting and creative places. They encourage learning through exploration of materials and interaction with other children and caring adults. Head Start meets the unique needs of every child through observation and recognition of the child's family and community culture. It prepares children for Kindergarten or as one parent describes it: "My sons and daughter learned the joy of learning and the joy of school."
Tri-County Head Start is sponsored by the Tri-County Council for Child Development, a private non-profit corporation whose board includes county commissioners, community representatives and parents from Berrien, Cass and Van Buren counties.
Family eligibility is determined by federal income guidelines and is free to those who qualify.