Grants Head Start

Cibola County was at one time known as the “Carrot Capital of the Country” until the process of cellophane wrapping began and California took over title.  More recently Grants has been known as the “Uranium Capital of the World” and produced the bulk of the nation’s uranium supply during the post-World War II Cold War Era.

Cibola County was created in 1981 out of the huge western most part of what was then Valencia County.  Grants is currently the county seat.  Cibola County land area is approximately 4,542 square miles.  Cibola County borders McKinley County to the north and Bernalillo Count to the east, Catron County to the south and Apache County, Arizona to the west. 

Grants New Mexico is a diverse community of 10,000 people descending from many cultures and backgrounds.  Our climate is mild year round, typical of the high desert.  We are located one hour west of Albuquerque on I-40.  Our area offers low property taxes, inexpensive housing and the convenience of a nearby large city, and an abundance of open space. 

Mid-West New Mexico CAP Grants Early Childhood Development Center has been serving children and families in Cibola County for over 50 years.  The Grants Early Childhood Development Center has both Head Start and Pre-K classrooms, serving children ages 3 to 5.  The center is located at 246 Mountain Road in Grants and employs 49 employees.  The center is federally funded to serve 168 Head Start children and state funded to serve 40 Pre-K children. 

The center has 10 Head Start classrooms and 2 Pre-K classrooms.  Six of our Head Start classrooms have 4-hour classes.  Three classes are held from 8 to 12 noon and the other three classes are held from 12 noon to 4 in the afternoon.  The remaining four Head Start classrooms have 6-hour classes and are held from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm.  We have 1 morning and 1 afternoon Pre-K classroom.  The child to teacher ratio is 10 to 1, with the exception of the classrooms which have children with an IEP that specifies a request for an Inclusion Aide.  Parents can enroll their child into Head Start as soon as their child turns 3 years of age.   This encourages continued recruitment and enrollment throughout the program year.  Children are also referred from other community agencies such as La Vida Felizidad, NAPPR (Native American Professional Parent Resources Inc.) and ECEP (Early Childhood Evaluation Program).  Children referred from these agencies are referred to help continue the child’s needs in developing.

The center provides transportation to and from the center for the children.  Bus routes travel as far as Bluewater Village (13 miles west of the center), but can travel within a 25-mile radius.  There are three different bus routes to accommodate our three different program sessions.  Every bus driver and bus monitor continues to get professional training throughout the program year.  They include a minimum of 16 hour bus safety training and First Aid/CPR certification.  Between the three bus drivers, there are a combined 30 years of experience driving for the center.  Bus evacuations are performed 3 times a year, and every child and teaching staff member participates in the drill.  Every child on the bus is buckled using a five-point harness system.  The children learn throughout the year to get themselves into their harness, but the bus monitor buckles and makes sure that the child cannot get free of the harness itself.  The children’s safety is priority, so there are several safety precautions in place to protect both the children and staff.  Children are signed in and out only by a parent or adult (18 years or older) who must be previously listed on the Emergency Contact form.

Teachers, Educational Assistants and Inclusion Aides are encouraged to get their Associates of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Education, if they don’t already possess one.  Those that already have a degree in Early Childhood Education are encouraged to further their education and get their Bachelors in Early Childhood Education. 

Every classroom follows lesson plans according to the Creative Curriculum and children are screened twice a year using the Brigance, DECA (Devereux Early Childhood Assessment) and DASE screening. 

Children are served nutritional meals that must meet nutritional requirements.  Our cooking staff attends nutritional trainings throughout the year.  The morning session children are served breakfast and lunch.  The afternoon session children are served lunch and snack. 

Our parents, families and community are a very important part of the center.  All are involved with the children both within and outside of the school.  Parents are encouraged to volunteer in the classroom, participate on different committees and attend Parent activities and family socials.  All families complete an IFPA (Individual Family Partnership Agreement) within the first 90 days of their child enrolling into the Head Start program.  During this process the PFCE (Parent, Family and Community Engagement) Department meets with the family to determine what services from within the community the family is or is not receiving.  Referrals can be made to community service providers who can help families or individual family members with the different types of services they offer. 

We are proud of the amount of community involvement we have at this center.  Community Service Partners and center staff work hand in hand when it comes to serving our children and families.

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