School Readiness

Making the Link Between Health and School Readiness

Head Start is a school readiness program. Each program offers health services to help every child get ready to learn.

Each child enters a program at different developmental levels and with different health needs. Programs identify concerns early and address them, promoting each child’s healthy development. Programs also guide families through developmental screening and referral so children get appropriate treatment. Head Start health services support school readiness and make sure that health issues do not affect children's learning.

Program leaders can use this online tool to design school readiness goals that integrate meaningful health strategies. Program leaders can also use it to identify the link between their school readiness goals and health service plans. Health promotion, prevention, and access to treatment can help achieve those goals.

Select from the roles below to learn how you can use the tool:

Education leaders and school readiness teams

  • Make the link between child health and school readiness
  • Identify health strategies that support school readiness goals
  • Learn how to integrate specific health services into school readiness plans

Health managers and health staff

  • Talk to others about the link between child health and school readiness
  • Ensure health services plans, procedures, and protocols align with the program's school readiness goals
  • Develop health strategies to include in school readiness plans

All program leaders

  • Help staff, families, partners, and policy makers understand the link between health and school readiness
  • Implement health strategies that promote children's achievement of school readiness goals
  • Advocate for the inclusion of health services in a comprehensive approach to children's educational services

Making the Link Between Health and School Readiness Webinar

Join the Head Start National Center on Health (NCH) for a webinar that explores health services and their impact on school readinesss and child attendance. It offers health strategies that can be included in health services and school readiness plans. Learn ways programs can improve health services to support child attendance.

To learn how to use this tool, review How Program Leaders Can Use This Tool.


Select Making the Link Between Health and School Readiness for the full PDF version of this tool. Note: This resource is under review.

Topic:School Readiness

Resource Type: Article

Last Updated: August 11, 2018