Health and Well-Child Care

Sequatchie Valley Head Start knows that good health care supports a quality education. We have developed the following school readiness health goals.

Goal #1 -Children will have a medical home.
One of Head Start’s goals is to make sure all Head Start children have a doctor who can give them regular care and physical exams to keep them healthy. We call this having a Medical Home. Your family worker will help you find a Medical Home if your child does not have one.

Goal #2 -Children will have insurance.
If your child does not have medical insurance that will pay for a physical or dental exam, Head Start will cover the cost at selected providers. However, you must let your family worker know of your need for financial help before the appointment so that arrangements can be made with the doctor’s office. Your family worker can also tell you how to apply for TennCare and/or CoverTN.

Goal #3 -Children will be up-to date on physical examinations.
Head Start guidelines require that Head Start and Early Head Start children be up-to-date on preventive or well-child care. Guidelines from Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment begin with pre-natal screenings and continue with newborns into the first days of life, continuing every few months through age two, and then annually throughout childhood and adolescence.


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Goal #4 -Children will be up-to date on immunizations.

Your child must have an up-to-date Tennessee Department of Health Certificate of Immunization on file at the Head Start center prior to attending Head Start. Early Head Start children will need multiple immunizations from birth, so that by the time they reach Head Start age, they will have had all required immunizations. Immunizations are available at your child’s medical doctor and / or the public health department, for free or at a minimal charge based on your income. Your Family Service Worker will be able to assist you should you need help or have questions.

Goal #5- Children will have a dental home, annual dental exam and follow-up treatment if needed.
All Head Start children need a dental home – a place where they can go for dental care. Each Head Start child is required to have a dental exam within the first 90 days of their enrollment, and then once each year after that. Head Start cooperates with the regional health department which may provide dental staff who visit our centers to do the exams. You will be notified when exams are given in your child’s center. You are welcome to attend.

We also offer a fluoride supplement program for children who need it. However, if your drinking water comes from a water system that has adequate fluoride added (most do), your child will not be eligible.

Even if your child is not referred for treatment, we urge you to see a local dentist to have your child’s teeth cleaned, and to establish a dental home. If your child sees a dentist on a regular basis (every six months to one year), your child will not need to be examined by the dentist at the center. With your written consent, Head Start will obtain documentation from your child’s dentist of his/her most recent exam, cleaning and treatment.

Dental Exam Day

Please make every effort to ensure that your child attends on dental exam day. This is a special day when a dentist comes to the center to examine children’s teeth. However, if your child must be absent, we will help you make alternate plans.

Remember this: prompt treatment of dental problems is important because cavities can be painful, and they may cause infections. Children (and adults) sometimes die from inadequate dental care. If your child is identified as needing dental treatment, your Family Service Worker will assist you in making arrangements.

Goal #6 – Children will receive a screening to identify concerns regarding their developmental, behavioral, motor, language, social, cognitive, and emotional skills within 45 calendar days of enrollment. 
Screening is the first step in getting to know a child at the beginning of each enrollment year. This baseline data helps staff plan and individualize services. It also helps them identify red flags for further examination or evaluation. When concerns go unidentified, they can lead to bigger problems. If you suspect your child has a learning challenge, vision, dental, hearing, or speech problem, please let us know. We are here to support you and get your child the help they need.

One of the benefits of enrolling your child in a Head Start or Early Head Start program is that he or she will be screened for hearing, vision, height, weight, dental, speech, language, and all other recommended developmental screenings. These screenings often spot difficulties that can affect a child’s ability to grow and learn. Parents must give permission for screenings.

One developmental screening, the Brigance, indicates how each child is doing in the areas of thinking, large and small muscle use, language, social and emotional skills, and how well the child can do things for themselves.


The mission of Sequatchie Valley Head Start is to create a nurturing place where children, families and staff can work through community partnerships to exceed Head Start's national goals.


HEAD START 3-5 yrs