NEW WALK-IN HOURS AT OUR MAIN OFFICE. Effective April 22, 2024, our office will be open Tuesdays-Thursdays, 9:30am-4:30pm (closed Mondays and Fridays).
NUEVO HORARIO DE ATENCIÓN EN NUESTRA OFICINA PRINCIPAL. A partir del 22 de abril de 2024, nuestra oficina estará abierta de martes a jueves, de 9:30 a 16:30 (lunes y viernes cerrado).

An Educational
Pathway to Success

Head Start Annual Report 2023

2023 Head Start Annual Report

Community Action Marin is the county’s Head Start and Early Head Start Grant Recipient, helping to ensure that children ages 0-5 from income-eligible families get a high-quality childhood education and support with health, nutrition, social services, and family development. The agency ensures family well-being, positive parent-child relationships, and nurtures parent connections to peers and community, helping families to be successful life-long learners and contributing members to society. 

Program Objectives

Studies indicate that when children receive high-quality care and education during their early years of life, they are better prepared for school, become better readers, and are more likely to graduate high school. To ensure a successful program and future for our students, Children and Family Services provides an opportunity for: 

  • Parent & Community Involvement. A committee comprised of those from our community, board, and Parent Leadership Council have been an integral part of our program leadership, strategic planning, and decision making. They evaluate program activities and potential improvements to services and processes. 
  • Professional Development. We provide ongoing training and tools that ensure a high quality comprehensive early learning program for children, families, and staff at our children’s centers. 
  • Program Measurement. Community Action Marin utilizes the Desired Results Developmental Profile (DRDP) tool to support ongoing observation and assessment toward individualizing our programming for each child. 

The goal of our programs? A 50% improvement for infants/toddlers and 80% for preschoolers in self-control of feelings and behavior, relationships and social interactions with familiar adults and with peers. 50% of preschoolers will also show improvement in symbol, letter, and print knowledge in English. 

Children and Families Served

In 2022-23, Community Action Marin had the capacity for 214 Head Start and 148 Early Head Start eligible children, a little over 1/3 of the total number of children under five living in poverty in the county. 

Since the pandemic, our Children & Family Services work has been impacted by shortages in teaching staff—as is true across the nation. With many teachers leaving their positions because of health concerns and due to a historic lack of pay equity in the profession, many have been choosing other careers. The logistics and expense of teaching certification have also inhibited many from entering the early childhood education profession. The unfortunate impact of this is that it has left many providers unable to meet classroom capacity goals for Head Start and Early Head Start eligible students.

To address this, Community Action Marin has established classroom protocols to keep children and staff healthy and safe, and consolidated classrooms at sites. Pay increases from advocacy at the state and federal level have also paved the way to increase hiring and serve more eligible families moving into the 2023-2024 school year. Our Early Care & Education Pathways to Success (ECEPTS) program has also helped participants jumpstart their career in early education, filling a needed pipeline to employment, with the wages among the highest in Marin.

Head Start Eligible Children Served in 2022-2023


# Head Start Eligible Children served  (65% of capacity)


# Early Head Start Eligible Children served (76% of capacity)

Enrollment Statistics

  • 54% of the total 139 Head Start slots and 54% of the 113 Early Head Start slots from FY 2022-2023 enrolled on average each month 
  • 25% of preschool children enrolled were projected to be entering kindergarten in Fall 2023 
  • 90% of Head Start preschool children received medical exams, 98% received vision exams, and 93% received dental exams

Preparing Children for Kindergarten

Our Children and Family Services programs support school readiness through program wide implementation of a research-based curriculum to fidelity (Creative Curriculum) and effective classroom teaching practices to support children’s language acquisition. 

Our staff utilizes the California Collaborative on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL) Teaching Pyramid, which includes strategies to understand behaviors and develop individualized student intervention plans when needed. 

  • Social & Emotional Development. 70% of students showed improvement 
  • Language & Literacy. 71% of students showed improvement 
  • Approach to Learning & Self-Regulation. 71% of students demonstrated school readiness 
  • Parent Satisfaction. 97% of parents expressed satisfaction with Community Action Marin’s Children and Family Services programs 
  • Student Well-being. 96% of students said they felt happy, safe, and a sense of belonging in Children and Family Services programs 

Growing Parent Leaders

The Parent Leadership Council (PLC), formerly the Policy Council, is currently comprised of 21 individuals, including parents of children and family members. The PLC provides us with critical insight, guidance, and feedback on various program related matters. These include approval of the Head Start budget and planned budget carryover, focus on Eligibility, Recruitment, Selection, Enrollment and Attendance (ERSEA), and program planning. The PLC also reviews, raises questions, and contributes to our Self-Assessment, Community Needs Assessment, and Director Board Reports.  

Parents are also included in workshops that support children’s reading and curriculum, i.e. Piwi and Ready Rosie, that rely on parent involvement and at-home activities to support children’s education. We also foster parent leadership through Parents as Leaders Training, the Parent Leadership Council, and active Parent Committees. 

Providing Support Services

Community Action Marin implements a Whole Family Approach to services, providing multi-generational wraparound services to children and families across Marin County. Community Action Marin has trained frontline Success Coaches, which includes our Family Advocates and Home Visitors, in an Intro to Family Centered Coaching and Domestic Violence Risk Assessment and Healthy Relationships, as well as assisting with CalFresh applications, and de-escalation techniques to support their effective work with clients and families. They are also trained on cultural awareness and understanding bias. 

Success Coaches participate in monthly Success Coach meetings where they have time for reflection, provide peer to peer support, learn about resources in community, and strengthen cross agency relationships which have increased the number of families receiving more than one agency service. 

Program Funding & Expenses

Understanding Future Community Needs

In 2023, Community Action Marin’s Learning and Evaluation team conducted a Community Needs Assessment. The assessment surveyed 597 individuals from throughout Marin County. The survey had a subset of over 225 respondents who are currently part of the Children and Family Services community at Community Action Marin. This assessment’s purpose was to gain a deeper understanding of the challenges facing members of this community and the most vulnerable members of the county. We asked questions about employment, housing, education, safety, health, and transportation and furthered our understanding of what types of programs we should be supporting and implementing in the future. 

Data from Children and Family Services families by location can be viewed on our interactive dashboard. 

I have passion for children; I love to serve others. I love this program, its mission, and its values of relationship, inclusivity, unity, and service. Seeing smiles on our children’s faces is the most rewarding experience. I am honored to be able to play such a role in the lives of the families we serve and to be able to show them that I am someone who truly supports them and that they can trust me.

Childcare, Manzantia Children's Center, Teacher

Sanaa Mehtar
Manzanita (Marin City)

Childcare, Community Action Marin, Preschool

Children and Family Services

At Community Action Marin, we provide high-quality free and affordable early education, health, and social support to children and their families. We individualize the program for each child, from pre-natal to school-age, including supporting the development of the home language.