Maui Business

Three-Day Head Start Conference Begins Today

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Maui Economic Opportunity Inc. will hold a Family Engagement and Cultural Effectiveness Conference event on Oct. 28 through 30, 2015, at the Westin Maui in Lahaina. It is expected that 250 Head Start and Early Head Start professionals from the Mainland US, to the Outer Pacific Islands and Hawai‘i will attend.

This event is cosponsored by the Head Start Association of Hawai‘i and the Region IX Head Start Association

Region IX includes four states: California, Nevada, Arizona and Hawai‘i. The Hawai‘i association is inclusive of six grantees that operate Head Start and Early Head Start programs, with support to the Outer Pacific Islands of Guam, CNMI, American Samoa and Palau.


The federal department of Health and Human Services administered by the federal Office of Head Start provides funding to Maui County for Early Head Start and Preschool Head Start services.

Early Head Start services for children prenatal to age three is provided by Maui Family Support Services. The program is funded for $1,282,179 to serve 119 children and their families. Preschool Head Start services for children ages 3 to 5 is provided by MEO Head Start. MEO Head Start receives $2,078,579 to serve 278 children and their families.

Early Head Start and Head Start offers comprehensive services for families that meet eligibility guidelines established by the federal governance and program services area needs. Families that are homeless, that are eligible for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) program, children that are in foster care and families collecting Social Security Insurance are considered categorically eligible for services. Income eligibility is based on the federal poverty guidelines for the State of Hawai‘i.


Comprehensive services include health and developmental screenings, mental health consultation, case management for resource and referral, inclusion services in partnership with the Department of Education, early education services with individualized goal setting and planning, and Family Engagement.

This conference is designed to provide tools and strategies that support programs working with young children birth to five. The focus is to respectfully support families to reach their fullest potential as their child’s first and most important teacher.

For more information, contact MEO Early Childhood Services Director Debbi Amaral at 249-2988 or email her at [email protected].

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