Why Is Outreach So Important?

For many different and complex reasons, there will always be some children and families who do not use centre-based services. Through Outreach, Head Start programs can reach these families—there are many creative ways to offer learning opportunities and support. Outreach is culturally appropriate, highly flexible, and makes the benefits of Head Start available to as many children aged 0–6 in the community as possible.

Part-Time Outreach

Not all communities will find that running a full-time Outreach and Family Services model suits their capacity and needs. However, Head Start strongly encourages all projects to build in some Outreach and Family Programming.

Outreach can include lending boxes (books, developmental toys, etc.), developmental and educational assessments, health and wellness information, and parent support through family programming.

Outreach can be as little or as much as the project can manage. Maybe it would be possible to visit only one or two families a week. Or to set aside one day a week with no centre-based programming, and do outreach on that day instead.

If it’s not possible to have a full-time outreach worker, a staff person could work in the community part-time and out of the centre part-time. Another possibility is collaborating with other community professionals to create an outreach team, so staff time is shared amongst team members.