INDIAN RIVER COUNTY ― The Economic Opportunities Council’s Head Start program has a few openings for children at its Indian River County locations. These slots will fill up fast, so don’t miss this opportunity to register your children ages three and four.

Head Start is a free full-day, school-year early childhood education program for eligible children and families. Head Start invests over $8,700 in the education of each child each year.

To be eligible, your child must have turned three or four years old on or before Sept. 1, 2021. Services will be provided to families with a household income at or below 130% of the federal poverty guidelines, to those receiving certain forms of public assistance such as TANF or SSI, to foster children, and to those who are homeless.

Openings are available at EOC’s Citrus, Indian River Academy, and St. Helen’s sites in Vero Beach, and the Douglas Center in Wabasso.

The Economic Opportunities Council of Indian River County has a 55-year successful track record of helping children become kindergarten ready. Head Start is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and uses evidence-based curriculum. Teachers have degrees. Head Start engages the family in the child’s learning and provides the family with training opportunities and resources.

Children receive daily breakfast and lunch, and health and dental screenings.

Although the EOC receives federal funding for the Head Start Program, a 20% local match is required. Donations are needed. For every dollar invested today, savings range from $2.50 to as much as $17 in the years ahead, per the U. S. Chamber of Commerce.

Head Start is a voluntary prekindergarten provider. Parents of four-year-old children must obtain a valid VPK certificate. Certificates and additional information are available from the Early Learning Coalition by calling (877) 220-1223.

For more information or to make a tax-deductible donation, visit www.eocofirc.net, or call (772) 562-4177.

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