Growing Futures Early Education Center, a Head Start for children and families, is a non-profit organization, providing quality early education opportunities and family support services for children in Johnson County, Kansas. Our Early Head Start and Head Start options are for children 0-5 and their families. Enrolled families also have access to a variety of comprehensive support services, including health and nutrition services, onsite play therapy, parent education, mental health, dental health, family advocacy, and family engagement opportunities. Our education program focuses on developing a child’s academic readiness, along with an emphasis on social and emotional development.

Growing Futures opened its doors in 1965 as a Head Start summer enrichment program for 17 preschool-aged children from low-income families, making us one of the original Head Start programs. Today, we serve nearly 250 low-income children and their families with Early Head Start and Head Start programs and we regularly maintain a wait list of more than 100 children.

Although our program has grown since 1965 to meet the increasing needs of Johnson County families, our funding has not kept pace with the demand for services. More than 32,500 Johnson County residents, or 5.6% of the population, lives below the federal poverty level with 3,119 of those residents being children, ages 0-5. Thousands more earn just enough to avoid the technical definition of poverty, which is $21,780 for a family of three. During the past decade, Johnson County's population grew by 20%, while the number of people living in poverty increased by 134%. Now, more than ever, our services are desperately needed.

Though we are partially funded by the federal government, for every $100.00 we receive from the federal government, we are required to raise an additional $25.00. That means to maintain our federal grant, we must come up with a non-federal match of over $415,000, annually, to remain in compliance with our federal funding. We rely heavily on support from our community partners, corporate sponsors, donors, local grants and our volunteers. There are so many ways to get involved with Growing Futures and we hope you will join us in our mission - to nurture children and strengthen families to enrich our community.

 

Early Head Start

- Home Based -

Home-Based Early Head Start serves pregnant women, infants and toddlers up to age three, providing home visits and group socialization activities that promote secure parent-child relationships and supports parents in providing quality early learning experiences in language, literacy, mathematics, social and emotional functioning, approaches to learning, science, physical skills and creative arts. We utilize the research-based curriculum, Parents as Teachers.

  • 90 minute weekly home visits with a family Educator.

  • Parents As Teachers Curriculum.

  • Developmental and school readiness activities.

  • Play groups and family socialization events.

  • Social service, health, mental and community resources support.

Qualifications:

Residency

Families must reside within Johnson County, Kansas.

Income

Priority is given to families with incomes at or below the federal poverty level (readjusted annually by the federal government). See current guidelines here.

Age

Children must meet the age guidelines for the program. The Home-Based Early Head Start Program accepts pregnant women, infants and toddlers up to age 3.

Early Head Start

- Center Based -

Center-Based Early Head Start serves children age 6-weeks to     age three. 

  • Classes operate 7:00am to 5:30pm,   Monday​ - Friday, Year-Round.​​

Qualifications:

Residency

Families must reside within the current Shawnee Mission School District boundaries; North - County Line Road, East - State Line Road, South - I-435 and West - Ogg Road.

Income

Priority is given to families with incomes at or below the federal poverty level (readjusted annually by the federal government). See current guidelines here.

Employment

Parents must be working and/or in school at least 30 hours/week during hours of operation.

Age

Children must meet the age guidelines for the program. The Center-Based Early Head Start Program accepts children age 6-weeks to age three.

 
 

Head Start

Our Head Start program serves children from three to five years of age in a preschool program with varying program options.

  • Extended Day Head Start serves children six hours a day, Monday thru Thursday, July thru June with no cost to families. Classes are from 8:30am to 2:30pm or 8:00am to 2:00pm.

  • Head Start Wrap-Around Care serves children 10.5 hours a day, Monday thru Friday, Year-Round. Growing Futures typically pays for a portion of these services and the family pays for a portion of these services. Classes are from 7:00am to 5:30pm. We utilize the HighScope Curriculum, which is designed to develop social competencies, as well as math, science and writing skills that children need to enter kindergarten, successfully.

Qualifications:

Residency

Families must reside within the current Shawnee Mission School District boundaries; North - County Line Road, East - State Line Road, South - I-435 and West - Ogg Road.

Income

Priority is given to families with incomes at or below the federal poverty level (readjusted annually by the federal government). See current guidelines here.

Employment

Parents must be working and/or in school at least 30 hours/week during hours of operation.

Age

Children must meet the age guidelines for the program. The Head Start program accepts children ages 3 or 4 years old by August 31.

 

Healthy Children Are Ready To Learn...

We understand that children’s health issues may prevent them from succeeding in school.

Under the direction of our health and nutrition specialist, all enrolled children and their families are connected with a primary health care provider so that children receive regular physical and/or well-baby exams.

The Health and Nutrition Specialist tracks immunization records and provides referrals as needed. Each child receives regular growth assessments and hearing and vision screenings, and verbal lead screenings. Our staff support families in identifying a primary health care provider and dentist to ensure children and families have a consistent source of care.

Children attending center-based programming at Growing Futures, brush their teeth daily on site. The health and nutrition specialist works with the family to attain dental exams, including cleanings, and dental and fluoride treatments from local dentists.

Daily meal service is a vital part of  our program, with meals served family style to further learning and socio-emotional development. Children who are hungry are not prepared to learn. Food modifications made on a daily basis accommodate children with special dietary needs.  Parents can view and download our monthly menu of breakfast, lunch, and/or snack items for enrolled center-based children. 

 

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Child Mental Health & Social and Emotional Well-Being

Teachers and Family Educators observe children for mental health or behavioral concerns.

At time of program entry, every enrolled child receives a mental health assessment. The teaching staff, family support advocates and early intervention specialist work closely with parents to support children with mental health and behavioral concerns.

 

Consultations, counseling for parents and children, and play therapy are provided with the support of our community mental health partners. Parent training focused on mental wellness topics such as stress reduction, positive parenting and family dynamics are held throughout the year.

School Readiness & Early Identification Of Children Eligible For Services Under IDEA.

(Individuals with Disabilities Education Act)

Our disabilities and school readiness specialist works with the Shawnee Mission School District and Infant Toddler Services of Johnson County to identify children with disabilities through developmental screenings and coordinates services to those children.

The disabilities and school readiness specialist also provides support to families and teaching staff by conducting observations, facilitating referrals, attending Individualized Education Plan and Individualized Family Service Plan meetings, and assisting parents with advocating for the needs of their children.

Social Services Help Families In Need...

Family Educators and Family Support Advocates assist families in evaluating their own strengths and needs. Each family sets a goal related to family self-sufficiency. If needed, the Family Educators and Family Support Advocates act as case managers, connecting families with community resources and support systems, and helping families plan for the future.

8155 Santa Fe Drive  |  Overland Park, KS 66204  |  913-649-9714

©2020 by Growing Futures Early Education Center

Thank you to our presenting sponsor!

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A Head Start For Children & Families