MEO Head Start

Head Start Maui Overview:

MEO Head Start serves children and families on Maui and Molokai. Our keiki are from families considered eligible based on categorical need: homeless, foster child, or families on TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) or SSI. All other families are eligible by meeting poverty income guidelines as established by the federal income table. Head Start also enrolls and serves children with special needs.

About Us and What We Do:

MEO Head Start was founded on Maui in 1965 as a part of President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty.  MEO Head Start supports children and families, providing a quality, comprehensive service that impact early development and school readiness success.  100% of our children are in the USDA subsidized breakfast and lunch program.

Families residing on Maui with young children experience similar challenges faced by impoverished communities all over the United States. Stressors include:  high unemployment, limited access to proper health-care, lack of mental health services: substance abuse; domestic violence;  and the dwindling resources needed to address all these inequities.  In combination or separately, these factors create an unhealthy start for a young child.

In addressing these challenges, recent studies have shown that the greatest impediment to early childhood learning is poverty.  Specifically, the “stress” caused by poverty.

In the Head Start “whole family”  approach, our Family Case Managers work directly with Parents to identify strengths and goals.  Once identified, the Case Managers work with the parent to identify community resources to support families to obtain access to the services and help they need.

Complementing these services is the foundation of learning in the MEO  Head Start classrooms.  Walk into one of our 13 centers across Maui County and you will be amazed at the interactions, experiences, and learning happening each day. Research show that positive early experiences can mitigate risk factors in young children.  Head Start provides a quality environment with caring staff, promoting necessary skills for children to be successful in school and in life.

You will also find a culturally diverse staff within MEO Head Start that reflects our ethnic blending in Maui County,  many of whom are also former parents of Head Start students.  What is truly striking about this teaching staff is how much “aloha” these amazing mentors and guides have for the children they teach.  We are an “Ohana”, and believe in the impact of early intervention through quality teaching and learning.

Maui Head Start Recruitment Flyer

Maui Head Start Spanish Recruitment Flyer

Molokai Head Start Recruitment Flyer

Facebook Posts

1 week ago

MEO Head Start
Aloha Friends and Families,Please join us in the 14th Annual Celebration of Fathers Event hosted by our wonderful community partners at Maui Family Support Services! This is a free drive through event that will be taking place at the Baldwin High School parking lot this Saturday, June 12th from 9am-12pm. There will be an abundance of prizes, community resources, and free activities for you and your keiki!!! ... See MoreSee Less
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2 weeks ago

MEO Head Start
**Teacher, former student turned teacher reunite at Head Start site** ... See MoreSee Less
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2 weeks ago

MEO Head Start
*Kaukau 4 Keiki Summer Meals Program Information*A statewide keiki feeding program is starting up this month, thanks to a new program made available by USDA Summer School Food Services, Hawai‘i Child Nutrition Program, and a dedicated team of statewide Food Access Coordinators.The keiki feeding program, called Kaukau 4 Keiki, will participate in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) which is a federally-funded, state-administered program. SFSP reimburses program operators who serve free healthy meals and snacks to children and teens in low-income areas.The program is set to launch in June, running through July 31st, and is open to any child 18 and under who lives in a zip code starting with 967XX. Meals are also available to persons with disabilities, up to the age of 22, who participate in school programs for people who are mentally or physically disabled. Maui United Way has stepped up as a the program's fiscal sponsor for Maui and Lana'i. Moloka'i will be providing a separate meal service program through Kualapu`u Public Charter School.Kaukau 4 Keiki will provide a weekly meal kit of breakfasts and lunches for children 18 and under in rural communities. Kits will look different from island to island, as program hosts are doing their best to support local farmers, ranchers, and food producers.#Kaukau4Keiki #hawaiisummermeals #keikiKaukau 4 Keiki helps bridge the summer gap, bringing food to our keiki who are at risk of food insecurity this summer. Because every child should have access to healthy nutritious food year round!Interested in signing up? Fill out a simple form at www.Kaukau4Keiki.org to receive a free weekly meal box for your keiki this summer. Distribution will begin in June and run through the summer. ... See MoreSee Less
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1 month ago

MEO Head Start
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2 months ago

MEO Head Start
Jeannine Gines, a Head Start family case manager, was selected MEO Employee of the Month for March.She was unable to attend the general staff meeting March 31 when the announcement was made because she had just given birth to daughter, Aleighna. Head Start staff gathered with Jeannine via livestream for a short celebration on April 19.Jeannine was praised by nominator, Dee Wilson, for her “flexibility and teamwork,” especially when the department faced unexpected staff shortages due to the pandemic and child care issues. She stepped in and volunteered to assist where needed.“This department prides itself on being flexible, because we need to be; every day is an adventure, but my nominee has gone above and beyond -- exceeding expectations,” said nominator Dee. “My nominee has many talents and can work with so many different people and does it with a positive, can-do attitude. This individual's humble heart is open to our varied clientele, and helping people is a personal strength that my nominee shares with everyone served through our program as well as our employees.”It’s not that Jeannine was immune from family issues caused by the pandemic. The mother of three had to juggle home schooling and other parental responsibilities with her job at Head Start, “even bringing funny stories to tell,” said Dee.The March Employee of the Month joined MEO Head Start in December 2017 as a family case manager. She is well connected with community resources and networks providing services to children and families, said Early Childhood Services Director Debbi Amaral.As an Employee of the Month, Jeannine received $150 and an extra vacation day. Nominator Dee earned a $50 cash award.Jeannine Gines and her newborn daughter, Aleighna, appeared virtually at a gathering with her co-workers at Head Start on April 19. Gines was selected as MEO Employee of the Month for March. ... See MoreSee Less
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