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Head Start and Our Programs

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The Second Step early learning and Talking About Touching programs align with Head Start Performance Standards. The standards with the strongest connection to our programs are listed below.

1304.21: Child Development

Parts A and C call for creation of a positive environment, support for children’s social-emotional development, and development of cognitive and language skills. The Second Step early learning and Talking About Touching programs aim to help improve school climate and strengthen children’s social-emotional skills. In addition, the new Second Step early learning program contains lessons to help children learn to focus attention, use self-talk, be assertive, and listen—skills crucial for school success—and a unit for transitioning to kindergarten.

1304.22: Child Health and Safety

Part D calls for fostering safety awareness. One of the major goals of the Talking About Touching program is to teach children how to keep themselves safe using personal safety skills.

1304.40: Family Partnerships

Part E calls for fostering partnerships with parents and caregivers. The new Second Step early learning program includes a Home Link activity for each week of the program for children to complete with an adult family member. These activities allow families to participate in the program with children and are provided in English and Spanish.

The Second Step program also includes an access code so families can visit www.secondstep.org, where there is a special family section containing videos and other materials to help get families involved in the program.

The Talking About Touching program contains the What Do I Say Now? video, which is designed to help parents and caregivers prevent child sexual abuse. The video includes guidelines for use. The program also includes an outline and handouts for conducting a family night to inform and involve parents and caregivers.

In addition, both the Second Step and Talking About Touching programs contain Family Letters to communicate to parents and caretakers what children are learning in the program.

1304.52: Teacher Training and Development

Part K calls for training for teachers. Read more about our programs and teacher training and staff development.

Early Learning Assessment

The Devereux Early Childhood Assessment (DECA) Kit and training program helps educators assess child resiliency and social-emotional competence—key areas of child mental health—and may also be eligible for Head Start funds. Second Step lessons strengthen children’s self-control, attachment, and initiative—important protective factors measured in the DECA Program.

Read more about Head Start requirements.

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