The Sure Start Guide provides guidance to help ensure that best practices from early childhood programs are provided within the program.
DoDEA believes that with a sure start, children in all military families can develop the social/emotional and academic competence needed for productive, lifelong learning. The Sure Start preschool program is based on the premise that children's potential for learning is influenced by their early cultural, physical, social, emotional, linguistic, creative, and cognitive experiences. It incorporates the tenets of child growth and development and family systems theory that stem from the works of Piaget, Erikson, Vygotsky, Smilansky, Kolb, Bronfenbrenner, and Gardner, among others. Because children who are identified as being at risk for school failure may have limited access to opportunities that enhance development in all domains, Sure Start provides children and families with an intensive curriculum that teaches requisite skills in a way that addresses children's unique learning styles and intelligences. The Sure Start program is wedded to the beliefs that risk is not destiny and that early intervention can ameliorate risk factors.
Sure Start is a program for command sponsored dependents. It is primarily a program for qualified four year olds. (The child must turn four years old by September 1 of the current school year.) Children qualify for Sure Start based on family dynamics which may put the child "at risk":
The Head Start Model
Sure Start strives to incorporate the many features of Head Start that are correlated with high quality:
Features Unique to Sure Start
To make Sure Start fit into DoDEA culture and regulations, Sure Start has evolved into a program with a distinct personality. Specifically, Sure Start differs from Head Start in the following ways:
DoDEA Early Childhood Education Coordinator
4800 Mark Center Drive
Alexandria, VA 22350-1400