Boston Head Starts
Boston Healthy Head Start Initiative is a project that works to build skills and knowledge about environmental health hazards at Head Start childcare facilities in underserved Boston neighborhoods, in the homes of Head Start-enrolled children, and across Massachusetts to reduce asthma rates. For a list of BHHSC’s key partners in this project, click here.
There are more than 2,400 children in Boston ages 0 to 5 being served through Head Start, of whom well over 90% are low-income and 16% have been diagnosed with asthma. Within this overall population, this project focuses on four Boston neighborhoods (Dorchester, East Boston, Jamaica Plain and Roxbury) that are heavily affected by asthma, lead poisoning and other health issues.
It is Boston Healthy Homes and Schools Collaborative’s (BHHSC) hope that this project will empower Head Start programs and Head Start parents/caregivers to implement and sustain strategies that reduce exposure to air pollutants, environmental tobacco smoke, pests and pesticides – all factors that cause or exacerbate asthma, allergies, and other respiratory problems among children.
BHHSI’s goal is to promote policies and practices that enhance environmental health in Boston Head Starts. We help Head Start administrators, staff and parents have the knowledge and skills to create these policies and increase awareness about health issues and available resources.
BHHSC focuses on the following things to meet this goal:
- Developing the skills of staff and parents at nine Boston Head Starts.
- Developing a Children’s Environmental Health Committee at four Head Start centers in Dorchester, East Boston, Jamaica Plain and Roxbury.
- Developing policies that improve environmental health conditions in Boston Head Starts.
- Sharing our experiences working with Boston Head Starts in other parts of the state so they can improve their practices and standards.
- Connecting Head Start families with home-based environmental hazard reduction services.
For more information about BHHSI, please contact Laurita Kaigler-Crawlle, Healthy Schools Project Director of BHHSC at 617-279-2240 ext. 519 or at firstname.lastname@example.org