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Programs and Services » Head Start » Child Health and Dental

Child Health and Dental

The Head Start philosophy embraces the concept that the whole child must be considered throughout the educational journey.
  • If a child is hungry or undernourished, he/she cannot concentrate on learning.
  • If a child is emotionally disturbed over personal issues, he/she cannot concentrate on learning.
  • If a child has a toothache, earache, or poor vision or hearing, he/she cannot concentrate on learning.
Therefore, the first few months of school are dedicated to assessing for potential needs and completing follow-up services to correct those identified needs.


Case Management

The needs of the child and family are considered when planning services through a Case Management process. Children who are considered medically fragile or who take on-going medication receive support services, which involves Head Start staff and school district campus nurses.


Collaborative Services

District school nurses collaborate with the Head Start Program to provide health services for the children. They oversee children's immunizations, vision and hearing screenings, administer and store medications, and treat children who are injured or ill. Special needs training is offered for school nurses and staff through the ESC-20 workshop offerings.


Facts & Highlights

  1. To promote healthy development, every child needs a source of continuous, accessible health care that is available after the child leaves Head Start.
  2. The program assists parents, as needed, to enable them to learn how to obtain prescribed medications, aids or equipment for medical and dental conditions for their child.
  3. Head Start children brush their teeth as part of their daily classroom routine.
  4. Proper and frequent hand washing is the best way to prevent the spread of disease and illness.
  5. The proper storage of medication and its administration by designated staff, following the written authorization of the child's physician and parents, safeguards the health of children.
  6. Nonporous gloves are available to all staff that may come into contact with bodily fluids.
  7. Classroom teachers and assistants are certified in Child Care First Aid/CPR for the safety of the children.
  8. Children and families are linked to an ongoing source of continuous, accessible care to meet their basic health needs and establish a medical and dental home.
  9. Screenings are completed with each child within 45 calendar days of enrollment. Parents are notified in a timely manner of their child's screening results. Follow-up treatment of health problems is done as quickly as possible with the cooperation of parents or guardians.
  10. Partnerships with the community resources are critical in order to provide medical and dental services.
  11. Health Advisory Committee meetings are held annually.
  12. Facilities comply with federal and state requirements.
  13. The Safe Environment Inspection checklist is utilized as a guide to help maintain equipment and facilities.
  14. Playgrounds are designed with a variety of surfaces and equipment for alternate types of play (wheel toys, slides, balls, climbing, etc.), taking into consideration age and developmental appropriateness.

Tri-County Head Start Contacts:

Lisa Ochoa
Health, Dental & Nutrition Facilitator
(210) 370-5662
Bertha Salinas
Health, Dental & Nutrition Facilitator
(210) 370-5708


Bexar County Head Start Contacts:

Mary DeLeon
Health, Dental & Nutrition Facilitator
(210) 370-5648
Ernestine Ramos
Health, Dental & Nutrition Facilitator
(210) 370-5762
Laura Martinez
Health, Dental & Nutrition Facilitator
(210) 370-5685
Sandra Sandoval
Health, Dental & Nutrition Facilitator 
(210) 370-5649