Rapid City Head Start

YFS Rapid City Head Start

Head Start is a federally funded, no-cost, parent-focused preschool program that serve low-income children, ages 3-5, and their families.

• Goals include increasing social skills and school readiness for young children while increasing the self-sufficiency for families.
• Caring, highly qualified teachers design curriculum and activities that are fun, developmentally appropriate, and individualized.
• Rapid City Head Start recognizes the parent as the child's primary teacher, educator and advocate.
• Parent involvement is a strength of Head Start and parents are encouraged to be actively involved.
• YFS has sponsored Head Start services in the Rapid City area since 1984.


• Head Start offers 3 and 1/2 hour sessions, four days a week in a preschool environment.

• Extended day option available at multiple sites.

• Breakfast or lunch and/or a nutritious snack are offered in all sessions.

• Rapid City Head Start will assist families who need transportation by busing as many children as possible.

Head Start Child Development and Learning Framework

The guiding principles of the Framework have been fundamental to the Head Start program from its inception in 1965. These principles provide the foundation for program policies and practices that prepare young children for success in school and beyond.

Each child is unique and can succeed.

Children are individuals with different rates and paths of development. Each child is uniquely influenced by their prenatal environment, temperament, physiology, and life experiences. With the appropriate support, all children can be successful learners and achieve the skills, behaviors, and knowledge described in the Framework.

Learning occurs within the context of relationships.

Caring families, teachers, and other adults matter in a young child’s life. Responsive and supportive interactions with adults are essential to children’s learning.

Families are children’s first and most important caregivers, teachers, and advocates.

Families must be respected and supported as the primary influence in their child’s early learning and education. Their knowledge, skills, and cultural backgrounds contribute to children’s school readiness.

Children learn best when they are emotionally and physically safe and secure.

Nurturing, responsive, and consistent care helps create safe environments where children feel secure and valued. In these settings, children are able to engage fully in learning experiences.