Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) is continuing services for all Head Start students through a new program called Early Start.The Early Start program, operated and funded by the school system, will have certified instructors and a high-quality curriculum at 35 program sites. No Head Start services will be cut, nor will any Head Start sites be closed. Students will continue with the same instructors, transportation services and school meals. Parents will have some new mental health, nutrition and wellness resources.All Early Start instructors and classroom aides will be screened to ensure expertise in teaching, supporting and providing a safe learning environment for 3- and 4-year-old students and undergo CPS screening. Staff will receive more frequent professional development that reinforces standards of conduct for PGCPS employees and techniques on positive student discipline.Stricter oversight will be provided by a 10-member Monitoring Board, consisting of three parent representatives, two external early childhood education experts, two Prince George’s County social services representatives, two PGCPS central office staff members and one Board of Education representative. This group will meet biweekly with responsibility for monitoring instructional practices and reviewing parent concerns, safety issues, staff responsiveness, staff development and training.Early Start students will be offered a slot in the school system’s full-day prekindergarten or kindergarten programs for the 2017-18 school year. PGCPS will remain eligible for future Head Start funding as early as fall 2017.
Please contact the Early Childhood Education Office at 240-724-1924 if you have any questions or concerns about the Early Start program.
Prince George's County Public Schools
Sasscer Administration Building
14201 School Lane
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772