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Resources for Head Start Programs

The goal of Early Head Start and Head Start is to improve school readiness of children from low-income families. School readiness depends in part on a child's health, including his or her oral health.  Head Start performance standards require that each child's oral health status be determined early in the school year and diagnostic and treatment services be provided while the child is enrolled.

The Oral Health program provides training, technical assistance and resources to Early Head Start and Head Start programs on how to implement oral health performance standards.  

New! Oral Health for Head Start Families
This guide for families, produced by the Massachusetts Head Start Association, emphasizes the importance of establishing good oral health habits at an early age and maintaining them throughout life. Topics include primary teeth and tooth decay, checking for white spots, infection, oral hygiene during pregnancy and infancy, toothbrushing and toothbrush care, bottles and cups, snacking, medicine and the first dental visit. The guide is available in English, Arabic, Chinese (traditional), Haitian Creole, Khmer, Vietnamese, Portuguese, Portuguese Cape Verde, Russian, Somali, Spanish and Vietnamese.

The Oral Health Resource Guide for Early Head Start and Head Start was developed by the Oral Health program for use by Head Start health managers, family advocates and family service workers as a resource for facilitating access to dental care for Head Start children and their families.  It is intended to educate Head Start staff and parents about general dental health information and provide tips for successfully working with local dentists and office personnel to schedule appointments, complete exams and provide follow-up treatment.

The brochure How Can Head Start Staff, Dental Professionals and Child Health Advocates and Policymakers Help? focuses on the problems Head Start children have in accessing dental care and presents ways various groups can help.

The National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center offers Oral Health in Head Start: A Resource Guide, a comprehensive listing of resources and Web sites.

The Ohio Head Start Association, Inc. (OHSAI) is the membership organization for Ohio Head Start programs.  It offers training and technical assistance to Head Start administrators, staff and parents. 

Ohio day care licensing rules require that licensed day care facilities, including Head Start and Early Learning Initiative programs, post the Ohio Department of Health Dental First-aid Chart in all classrooms. 

Last Updated: 7/25/13
Last Reviewed: 6/12/14

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