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Health & Nutrition

The foundation of Head Start is to provide a safe environment where health and dental needs are tracked and nutritious meals are served.  Nursing, health and nutrition clerks are responsible for collecting and tracking health information for each child in the Head Start and Early Head Start Program. Parent Educators and Family Resource Advocates will keep you updated on your child’s health needs. Home Visitors will remind you to schedule appointments as needed and offer transportation if none is available to you. Health summaries will be presented at least four times a year to show what is needed to remain current per federal standards. You also may receive notes or telephone calls as reminders of health needs. Our program is required to keep these health needs current, so we are happy to assist you.

Required Health Needs:

Physical Exam

Physical exam as required by the EPSDT. After age 3, it is annually and must be updated each year. Before age 3 there is a more frequent schedule of well-child check ups.

Dental Screenings

Dental screenings are completed at each well visit in the first year by your pediatrician.  The AAP and the ADA recommend that a dental home be established at one year of age. Dental exams every six months after the first professional exam. Dental includes examination; cleaning and fluoride varnish.

Dental Treatments

Dental treatments completed as stated by dentist.


Hemoglobin –may be from WIC or part of a Complete Blood Count (CBC) ordered by the physician. NPHS has a non-invasive Hemoglobin machine that can test children’s levels, if not obtained through other sources.  


Lead- All Medicaid eligible children zero to seventy – two months of age receive blood lead testing at twelve months and twenty – four months regardless of result of lead questionnaire screening. If not completed prior, it must be completed between thirty – six to seventy - two months. NPHS has obtained a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment Certificate of Waiver (CLIA Wavier) which allows trained staff to use a CLIA waived lead machine called LeadCare II to complete lead screenings.  These lead screenings are not a full blood draw but does require a finger stick.  


Immunizations – see CDC or West Virginia schedule guidelines on the web resource list or refer to the one given to you at enrollment. 


TB test is no longer required, unless the child is at risk or transfers from another state.


Current CDC Immunization Schedule

Nutrition and Activity

Nutritious meals and snacks are served to the children that follow the Office of Child Nutrition Guidelines. We strive to make an interesting and delicious variety of food offerings. Following the guidelines, we serve portions and components of meats, grains, fruit, vegetables, and milk. Children are served family style sitting at the table with the teachers. They learn to serve recommended serving sizes, butter bread, pour milk and water and carry-on interesting conversations learning about food and their sources. Each child if offered a “no thank you” bite of foods he/she says they do not like or have not tried in an effort to get them to try new foods. All food is provided free of charge to Head Start children. 

First-Aid Training For Parents

Annually between January – March 31 during a parent meeting or on home visits a First Aid training is offered to all parents/custodians. We encourage you to participate and offer you a “mini first aid kit” when you complete it to help with basics of first aid in your home.

Health/Nutrition Materials

During the program year, NPHS will make current information available to you. This may be sent to your home or offered in parent meetings. Call us if you have any questions about the material or specific concerns about your child’s health.

Volunteers In the Classroom

 We encourage parents and grandparents to volunteer in the classrooms and participate in special events. If you regularly help out in the classroom, we do require that you get a TB test from your doctor or local health department. Food Handlers cards are also required to help serve food in a safe, sanitary manner. We pay for the cost of the Food Handlers class. You may contact the home visitor to get a schedule of Food Handlers Classes held at your County Health Department. A copy of your card must be left with the teacher in the classroom.

Children with no Health Coverage

There are several options for health insurance for children in the State of West Virginia. Head Start home visitors and the health nurses can provide you with information to access health insurance for your child. We will do everything we can to help you obtain health insurance. 

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For more information please contact:

Early Head Start Nurse
1 Orchard Road, Wheeling, WV 26003