The Preschool Services Department (PSD) has administered and operated the Federal Head Start program and the California State Department of Education Preschool programs in Head Start/State Preschool sites throughout the geographically largest county in the contiguous United States since 1965.(Read More)

About the Preschool Services Department

Mission Statement

“To Improve the Well-Being of Children, Empower Families, and Strengthen Communities."


Head Start is a program of the United States Department of Health and Human Services that focuses on assisting low-income and disadvantaged families and children. The program was created in 1965 as part of President Lyndon Johnson’s war on poverty. The program was designed to help break the cycle of poverty by providing a comprehensive program that would meet the emotional, health, nutritional and psychological needs of preschool children from low-income and disadvantaged families.

Our Philosophy

Our central premise is that “family” is the most fundamental factor influencing the lives of children. Aside from children’s educational needs, they also need a supportive, healthy home environment combined with stable and reliable relationships with adults and caregivers. In short, if you strengthen families, you automatically strengthen children.

Programs Services and Description

Head Start – Is a national program which provides comprehensive developmental services for children ages 3 to 5 and their families in 39 locations throughout the County of San Bernardino. This program provides specific services such as:
  • Health and Social Services
  • Developmental and Behavioral Screenings
  • School Readiness
  • Nutritional Services and Education

All children are screened, assessed and referred (if needed) to ensure their basic health needs are met. Also, Head Start requires that 10% of its slots be reserved for children with disabilities and/or special needs. Disability services include:

  • Speech/Language Impairments
  • Hearing Impairments
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Blindness/Visual Impairments
  • Other Impairments

The Head Start school year runs from July to June (traditional) and offers the following child development options for children ages 3 – 5:

  • Part Day – 3 ½ hours per day; 9 months per year
  • Full Day – 8 hours per day; year round
  • Home Based – One 90 minute home visit per week

Parent education, family support and social services are designed to support and empower Head Start families, assisting them in becoming economically self-sufficient and helping them identify and achieve personal family goals.

Early Head Start – The Early Head Start (EHS) program was established to assist pregnant women, infants and toddlers to age 3. EHS assists with enhancing:

  • Children’s physical, social, emotional and intellectual development
  • Assist pregnant women to access comprehensive prenatal and postpartum care
  • Parent education on their child’s development
  • Support parent’s effort to fulfill their parental roles and move towards self-sufficiency

In addition, EHS services promotes healthy prenatal outcomes, enhances the development of infants and toddlers, and promotes healthy family functioning.

State Preschool – The State Preschool program is a comprehensive child development program that provides a safe and nurturing hands-on learning environment that helps each child reach his/her highest potential in the areas of:

  • Social Development
  • Cognitive/Creative Development
  • Language Development
  • Physical Development

State Preschools are located throughout the County of San Bernardino and offer a 3 hour program Monday thru Friday. Morning and afternoon classes are also available.

Prevention and Early Intervention – Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) programs provide strategies and activities that aid in teaching staff and parents the opportunity to identify social, emotional and behavioral signs/symptoms to deter onset of a behavioral condition. PEI programs also assist with linking program participants in need of additional services to:

  • Appropriate Mental Health Providers
  • Support Groups for Parents and Caretakers
  • Primary Care Providers

Nurse Visitation Program – The Nurse Visitation Program improves the health and social functioning of low-income first-time mothers and their babies through home visitations by a nurse. The nurse home visitors follow a visitation schedule that consists of one 90 minute home visit per week, over a two and a half (2 ½) year period.

Family Literacy Program – This program provides interactive literacy activities for both the parent and the child participants. Enrolled parents attend an 11 week course that meets weekly for 3 ½ hours. Activities include:

  • Books and learning material to take home
  • Developmentally appropriate education to prepare children for success in school and life experiences
  • Creation of a family album/scrapbook
  • Assistance in establishing a routine family reading program
  • Parent training on how to be the primary educator for their children and full partners in the education of their children
  • Parent discussions with a peer support group
  • Parent participation in child’s classroom
  • Adult literacy training that leads to economic self-sufficiency
  • Assistance with increasing parents education and job skills

Pathways to Success – The Pathways to Success is an apprenticeship program that gives the opportunity to parents and volunteers to receive on the job training and a competitive edge over other candidates to move up the career ladder within the Department. Training is offered for the following positions:

  • Teacher Aides
  • Food Service Workers
  • Custodians
  • Center Clerks

If you are interested in these services and would like further information, please contact the center listed in our Contacts page or call us at toll free at (888) KIDS – 025 or (888) 543 – 7025.

 Mission Statement

 "To Improve the Well-
Being of Children,
Empower Families, and

 Vision Statement
   Our children will excel in whatever setting they
     go to next.
   Our families’ quality of life is measurably
     better after participating in our programs.
   Our efforts increase the quantity and quality of
     sustainable resources and services countywide
©2010 Copyright Preschool Services Department a Division of HS
Maintained by ITSD