Children’s Programs: Highlights and Accomplishments

Community Connections
Monitoring Outcomes
Performance Indicators


The Division of Children’s Services is composed of three principle programs: Head Start, Early Head Start and Early Childhood Vocational Education.

Our Head Start and Early Head Start programs provide children and their families with education, health. nutrition, and social services. Services are responsive to each child’s and family’s ethnic. cultural. and linguistic heritage.

Head Start for children 3-5 years of age supports parents as their child’s first and most important teachers. Head Start builds relationships with families that support positive parent-child interactions, family well-beine„ and connections to peers and community.

Early Head Start serves pregnant women, infants, and toddlers. Early Head Start helps families care for their infants and toddlers through early, continuous, intensive, and comprehensive services.

Our Head Start (HS) and Early Head Start (EHS) programs may serve a combined total of 222 childern 0-5 years of age inclusive of pregnant women, Our service area is comprised of Marshall and Starke Counties.

Marshall-Starke HS and EHS maintained active waitlists. Unfortunately. not all children on the waitlists were offered enrollment opportunities due to the requirement not to exceed at any one time the funded enrollment of 222 children. Based on the most recent data from the American Community Survey the estimated number of eligible HS and EHS children for our service area is 595. In 2015 the programs’ combined cumulative enrollment was 303 children. Fifty-one (51) percent of the total number of eligible children were served by Marshall-Starke HS and EHS. Average daily attendance was eighty-seven (87) percent.

The information gathered during a four day intensive Triennial review conducted in 2012 by a team of six federal compliance monitors, determined the programs to be in full compliance with all applicable performance standards. laws. regulations. and policy requirements.

Marshall-Starke Early Head Start (EHS) established school readiness goals that recognize the impact of early experiences on brain development. The EHS school readiness goals acknowledge how early experiences, particularly the relationship created jointly by baby and parents, shape the foundational learning structures of the brain. The school readiness goals are relationship based and relate to early developmental milestones. The last analysis of school readiness data showed the majority of children attained age appropriate expectations.

Because supporting children’s readiness is an ongoing partnership between staff and families the program implemented the Parent, Family, Community Engagement Framework. The Framework is a tool for engaging families and supporting children’s ongoing learning and development. The role of parents in their child’s education should not be understated. Parent engagement is considered by this program to be a school readiness goal. The program successfully achieved 100% parent participation in parent-teacher conferences.


The programs rely on the support and participation of community partners. Partnership relationships exist with the following agencies:

  • WIC
  • Local School Corporations
  • Healthy Families
  • Neighborhood Center
  • Department of Children Services
  • Salvation Army
  • Care and Share
  • Community Services of Starke County
  • Love Inc.
  • Bella Vita
  • J.E.S.S.E.
  • North Central Area Vocational Cooperative
  • Council on Aging


In 2015 the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) conducted a Comprehensive Services/School Readiness Review. The programs were found to be in full compliance with all federal regulations and performance standards. The 2015 National CLAS Scores showed our Head Start program to be just shy of the highest 1010 for Emotional Support and Classroom Organization. And just under the median national score for Instructional Support.

All local and state fire, health, and sanitation inspections reported no concerns. The results of the most recent financial audit expressed “an unqualified opinion on all major federal programs” with “no instance of noncompliance material, qualifying MSDC as a low risk auditee.”


Performance Indicators Head Start Early Head Start
Funded Enrollment 182 40
2014 Cumulative Enrollment 233 70
Number of EHS Pregnant Women N/A 3
Total Number of Children with a Disability 29 20
Percentage of children with a continuous source of preventive medical and dental care. 100% 100%
Percentage of children with up-to-date immunizations all possible immunizations to date 97% 100%
The percentage of children diagnosed with a chronic health condition who received medical treatment 100% 100%
Percentage of families experiencing homelessness 0% 0%
Average Monthly Attendance 87% N/A
Percentage of pregnant women who received prenatal care N/A 100%
Percentage of pregnant women who received postpartum health care N/A 100%
Percentage of children who are up-to-date on a schedule of age appropriate preventive oral health care. 100% 100%


Volunteer Type  
Parent/Relative 301
Community Volunteers 383

Now in its 13th year, in partnership with the Northern Central Area Vocational Collaborative, the Early Childhood Vocational Education Program provides instruction and field experience for junior and senior high school students interested in pursuing a professional career in Early Childhood Education. The course is available to students attending 10 area high schools. Since it’s inception over 275 students have completed the Early Childhood Vocational Education Program.

The students receive in-class instruction supplemented with direct vocational experience in Head Start and Kindergarten classrooms. Students may earn six transferrable college credits the first year and three additional college credits the second year for a total of nine college credits. The college credits are issued by Indiana Ivy Tech College. The majority of students who complete the Early Childhood Vocational Education Program pursue post secondary education. This partnership affords the students vocational experience in the field of ECE while benefitting Head Start children with individual attention and interaction. The student volunteer time is a valuable in-kind contribution.

Our Head Start Program employs four graduates of the Early Childhood Vocational Education Program who following graduation from the program completed college degrees in Early Childhood Education.

Number of Enrollees HS EHS
Income below 100% of federal poverty 154 33
Receipt of Public Assistance 27 13
Status as Foster Care 6 2
Over Income 46 22
Primary Language  
English 214 55
Spanish 19 15
Ethnicity Hispanic or Latin Origin 32 22
Non-Hispanic or Latin Origin 201 48
Number of Families 197 58
Two Parent Families 51% 79%
Single Parent Families 49% 21%
Employment (At Time of Enrollment)  
Percentage of Two Parent Families with:  
One or Both Parents Employed 89% 91%
Percentage of Single Parent Families with:  
Parent Employed 53% 17%

Eighty-one (81) percent of our Head Start families and 83% of our Early Head Start families have a parent who graduated from high school.