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The Early Head Start team at CNE believes that caring for infants and toddlers requires a holistic approach involving teachers, parents, and local community services. Their well being and academic potential is the result of a program's ability to implement a multi-faceted system. An example of this holistic approach to early care is CNE's comprehensive asthma care management plan.
Asthma is one of the most common diseases observed in Head Starts.
How HENRY supports a healthy start | HENRY
An estimated 4 percent of children enrolled has asthma and receives treatment at the program. Head Starts can play an important role in helping families manage asthma through the development of an asthma care plan.
Sue Patel, CNE's health services manager, emphasizes that education is a critical component of the plan. Parents are given handouts, brochures, and are even encouraged to attend workshops. But sometimes, extra measures are necessary to ensure parents take the time to understand the importance of the condition and medication compliance. So in addition, she offers one-on-one training with parents. Education staff members also communicate any concerns to the health navigator, such as indications that a child may need glasses. The colocation of Educare Atlanta with Dunbar Elementary School in the Dunbar Learning Complex allows staff from both organizations to coordinate their support of preschool children and their parents as they transition to elementary school.
A team at Educare Atlanta takes pre-kindergarten children to visit the elementary school and provides monthly workshops for their parents to help them prepare for the transition. The curricula of Educare Atlanta and Dunbar Elementary are also aligned so that children will read proficiently by the end of third grade, which will help them stay in school longer, graduate from high school, enroll in postsecondary education, and go on to successful careers. Because health is a critical component of child development, Educare Atlanta is using several measures to evaluate whether the program has been successful in encouraging families to pursue healthy choices, including whether children have received developmental screenings, have been immunized, have a primary care physician, and are enrolled in health insurance.
The partners are also assessing whether staff are adequately equipping parents to address child and family needs. In the — school year, 97 percent of children had health insurance coverage, 97 percent of children had a primary care physician, and 96 percent of children were fully immunized.
Food and Health in Early Childhood: A Holistic Approach / Edition 1
According to Leah Austin, Annie E. These positive trends have spurred discussions about extending the Dunbar Learning Complex model to other Atlanta public schools. Dunbar Learning Complex. Yasmin Tyler-Hill, 4 November Casey Foundation in Atlanta, 27 October
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