SEMCAC Head Start works with families to build bright futures

Published 7:01 am Sunday, March 5, 2017

Joanne Ross

Semcac Head Start Fillmore and Mower County Coordinator

For 50 years, Semcac Head Start has partnered with parents to support their role as the primary decision-makers for their children.

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Head Start recognizes parents are their child’s first and most important teachers.  Working together, children and their parents develop skills that prepare them to enter kindergarten with confidence, and enjoy learning for a lifetime.  This “two generation” approach sets Head Start apart from other providers.

Why is Head Start Unique?

Medical, dental, nutrition and other services are offered for the well-being of the child. We promote healthy living for the whole family.

Our staff are trained to provide education that best supports each child’s individual growth and development, including special needs and English language learners.

We offer support for healthy parent-child relationships including support for the parents and guardians to strengthen their family.

We help parents connect to needed community services to reach their goals and take care of themselves and their families.

Family members are welcomed as volunteers. Parents learn to advocate for their children and families. Parent leaders are involved in key decisions to guide our program.

Semcac Head Start is rated a 4 Star High Quality Program by Parent Aware. We provide birth-to-age five learning at no cost to qualifying families. Our Austin center offers services with a 3 ½ or 7-hour day, Monday through Thursday, in a preschool setting.  And, we offer an eight-hour day in a toddler setting which runs year-round. Our child-centered curriculum, The Creative Curriculum, incorporates the latest research and best practices taking the needs of every type of learner into account.  Activities take place in a licensed classroom, located at 300 16th Street, NE, Austin, in the former Holy Cross school.

We also offer a home-based option to reach families expecting a baby and/or with children birth-three years. A trained educator does weekly home visits to work with children and parents. The educators also offer a center-socialization every two weeks. This provides parents and children a time for connecting with others along with more parent education. An example of one of our family successes is a parent who completed coursework to become an interpreter for other families.

Our staff will work with each family that applies to determine eligibility and to keep the process simple. Staff will let you know what family documents you will need to apply. We have interpreters available to help. We will verify your child’s age, and your family’s income status. MFIP, Foster or Homeless children automatically qualify. Our focus is to serve families with limited income based on federal guidelines.  We help families connect with the Rainbow Route for transportation.

For more information: visit the Semcac office in Austin at 111 N. Main Street, Suite 201, located above the Welcome Center. Or call 507-433-5889 to schedule an appointment.  Or, check out our website at All interested families are encouraged to apply.

Head Start works. Let’s work together to nurture your child’s love of learning and well-being.