The Maliseet Head Start was established in 2003. The Head Start Program serves children from ages 3-5, and enrolls 20 children each school year. We are a full day Head Start program that follows the local school schedule. We also provide free bus transportation.
Our Head Start program provides free child and family services that include education, developmental health, family and community engagement, and
nutrition. We also provide education and support around the areas of medical health, literacy, dental health, disabilities, and mental health needs. We work closely with parents to provide support to assist in meeting needs that arise throughout the year, based on the philosophy that parents are children's best and first teachers, and that we must make sure basic needs are met before the child is able to truly focus on learning. Our ultimate goal for our program is kindergarten readiness. Our staff has worked closely with the local area public schools, Head Start parents, as well as utilized the Maine Early Learning and Development Standards to create comprehensive School Readiness Goals to ensure we are doing everything we can to meet this ultimate goal.
Two meals and one snack are provided to the children each day, and all students qualify for free meals, so this is at no cost to the families. We utilize the tribe's nutritionist to provide monthly activities and snacks for the students, focused on healthy eating and movement. The nutritionist also makes herself available to
collaborate with the Head Start cook for any needed support and feedback.
Like all federally funded Head Start programs, a priority is given to children with disabilities. We work with Child Development Services to implement Individualized Education Plans for those children who qualify. These individualized plans are implemented to ensure that those children who have documented
disabilities' needs are met and their programming is designed to have the most positive outcomes possible. These plans are streamlined in the transition to the public school system to ensure a continuation of needed services. We also give priority to children of Native American descent.
We offer a variety of cultural activities daily, as well as special events throughout the school year. We have collaborated with the elders for meals, and have had local community members join us for activities like storytelling and drumming. We have found many areas where we can tie cultural activities into our daily curriculum. We have found that our students greatly enjoy any cultural activities that we do, and we continue to work to expand these all of the time.