Find out more about the Learning Centers in our classrooms

Specific Curriculum Components

Head Start of Lane County places the utmost importance on teaching the children in our care. To that end our board has voted in these quality teaching methods and materials.

The philosophy behind our curriculum is that young children learn best by doing. Learning isn’t just repeating what someone else says; it requires active thinking and experimenting to find out how things work and to learn firsthand about the world we live in.

In their early years, children explore the world around them by using all their senses (touching, tasting, listening, smelling, and looking).In using real materials such as blocks and trying out their ideas, children learn about sizes, shapes, and colors, and they notice relationships between things.

In time, they learn to use one object to stand for another. This is the beginning of symbolic thinking. For example, they might pretend a stick is an airplane or a block is a hamburger. These early symbols – the stick and the block – are similar in shape to the objects they represent. Gradually children become more and more able to use abstract symbols like words to describe their thoughts and feelings. They learn to “read” pictures which are symbols of real people, places and things. This exciting development in symbolic thinking takes place during the pre-school years as children play.

Play provides the foundation for academic or “school” learning. It is the preparation children need before they learn highly abstract symbols such as letters (which are symbols for sounds) and numbers (which are symbols for number concepts). Play enables us to achieve the key goals of our early childhood curriculum.

Play is the work of young children.

The most important goal of our early childhood curriculum is to help children become enthusiastic learners. This means encouraging children to be active and creative explorers who are not afraid to try out their ideas and to think their own thoughts. Our goal is to help children become independent, self-confident, inquisitive learners. We’re teaching them how to learn, not just in preschool, but all through their lives. We’re allowing them to learn at their own pace and in the ways that are best for them. We’re giving them good habits and attitudes, particularly a positive sense of themselves, which will make a difference throughout their lives.

Our curriculum identifies goals in all areas of development,

    • Social: To help children feel comfortable in school, trust their new environment, make friends, and feel they are a part of the group.
    • Emotional: To help children experience pride and self- confidence, develop independence and self-control, and have a positive attitude toward life.
    • Cognitive: To help children become confident learners by letting them try out their own ideas and experience success, and by helping them acquire learning skills such as the ability to solve problems, ask questions, and use words to describe their ideas, observations, and feelings.
    • Physical: To help children increase their large and small muscle skills and feel confident about what their bodies can do.

The activities we plan for children, the way we organize the environment, select toys and materials, plan the daily schedule, and talk with children, are all designed to accomplish the goals of our curriculum and give your child a successful start in school.

Creative Curriculum content provided by Teaching Strategies

Even young children are aware that color, language, gender, and physical ability are connected with privilege and power. Indeed, racism, sexism, and other biases have a profound influence on children’s developing sense of self and others.

This curriculum helps every child:

  • build a positive self image:
  • develop a positive way of dealing with diversity:
  • and learn skills to be able to stand up for him/herself and others in positive ways.

Furthermore, an anti-bias perspective is integral to all aspects of daily classroom life.

For more information about the Anti-Bias Curriculum, please contact,

National Association for the Education of Young Children
1834 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20009-5786
(800) 424-2460
(202) 232-8777

Since we want to build children’s social skills and self-esteem by giving them tools to solve everyday problems, we use Second Step for Preschoolers.  It can reduce impulsive and aggressive behavior in young children and increase their level of social competence, because Second Steps teaches skills in empathy, impulse control and anger management.  And children who learn and use those skills are more likely to get along with other people and do better in school.

Skills and lessons in the program include:

  • Empathy Training
  • Impulse Control
  • Anger Management

For more information on Second Step for Preschoolers, please contact,

Committee for Children
172 20th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98122
(800) 634-4449
(206) 322-5050

CATCH stands for a Coordinated Approach to Child Health.  CATCH Early Childhood (CEC) is designed to nurture a love of physical activity, provide an introduction to classroom-based gardening and nutrition, and encourage healthy eating in children ages 3-5. Little ones are motivated to walk, run, jump, dance and move their whole bodies while playing and having fun.

For more information, please contact:

The Child Protection Unit teaches safety rules.

The first section includes traffic, fire, and water safety.

The second section teaches children safety rules to use with other people regarding talking, touching and feelings.

Since most families have their own safety rules dealing with these topics. This curriculum encourages children to learn and apply their family safety rules.

Children learn a number of skills to use when applying their family safety rules:

  • Recognize unsafe situations in their environment.
  • Recognize potentially unsafe situations involving people.
  • Determine safe and unsafe touch.
  • Assert their ability to say “no” to unsafe situations and touches that are unsafe to uncomfortable.
  • Tell someone about unsafe situations and unsafe or uncomfortable touches.

For more information on the Child Protection Unit, please contact:

Committee for Children
172 20th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98122
(800) 634-4449
(206) 322-5050

All Children in Head Start are offered screenings.

Children who receive Head Start services are offered hearing, vision, dental, and developmental screenings.  The developmental screenings we use are listed below.

The Ages & Stages Questionnaires® (ASQ) Third Edition is a questionnaire designed to help parents check their child’s development. Parents can use the results of the ASQ to help talk with pediatricians, teachers or other professionals if they have concerns about their child’s development.

Early diagnosis and treatment of developmental delays can help give a child the best opportunity to reach his/her full potential. For children between the ages of birth and 5 years…Use the ASQ questionnaires to check your child’s general development. The results help determine if a child’s development is on schedule.

Use the ASQ:SE questionnaire to check your child’s social emotional development. Results help identify appropriate social emotional competence in young children.