About The Center

Boy looking down

HS buildingCommunity Action Partnership Program and the Dickinson Public School District are partners in providing early childhood special education services at the Early Childhood Center. The Early Childhood Center is also home to the Community Action Partnership Head Start program. Both programs provide early education services for children between the ages of 3-5 years.

Community Action Partnership Head Start Program provides comprehensive child development services and works with families to prepare their children for kindergarten. The Early Childhood Center was founded on the belief that children deserve the opportunity to enter school “ready to learn” and that children’s readiness depends on health and physical development, social and emotional development, language development and communication, cognition and general knowledge, and developing approaches to learning


Center Base Option
The center based program, located at the Early Childhood Center, provides services in a classroom type setting. We have four classrooms in the Early Childhood Center and three Dickinson Public Schools classrooms at Early Head Start.

A morning session which runs from 8:00 am—11:30 am  Monday through Thursday
An afternoon session which runs from 12:15 pm—3:45 pm  Monday through Thursday

Children needing special assistance with learning, developing motor skills, or speech and language receive most of those services within the classroom setting from well trained special education staff provided through the Dickinson Public School System


Home Base Option
The Home Based option provides a Home Base Visitor who goes into the home and works directly with the parent/guardian to plan weekly activities individualized for the child. This option is available in the Adams, Billings, Bowman, Dunn, Golden Valley, Hettinger, Slope, and Stark county areas. These families meet together within their communities twice a month to provide socialization opportunities for the children and training opportunities for the parents/guardians


To be eligible for Head Start, families must meet income guidelines established by the Federal Government. There is also a provision that Head Start enrollment can be from “over income” families with children who have special needs or are at risk for experiencing developmental problems and later difficulties in school. Over income families living in some of the rural areas in Billings, Bowman, Dunn, Golden Valley, Hettinger, Slope, and Stark counties may also be eligible for Head Start.  We can have a total enrollment of 128 children in the Early Childhood Center and Home Base programs


Health Services
The Early Childhood Center recognizes that children must be healthy and well nourished in order to learn. To accomplish that goal, the Early Childhood Center ensures that all enrolled children have timely immunizations, developmental, health, and dental screenings. Follow up care and referrals are provided when necessary


The Early Childhood Center has adopted the High Scope Curriculum. This research-based curriculum involves children in direct hands-on experiences with people, objects, ideas, and events. The teaching staff observes and interacts with the children at their level to discover how each child thinks and reasons. Daily recorded observations are used to assess each child’s development and are used to plan activities that will facilitate growth in their school readiness skills. Children are empowered to take control of their own learning.

The Early Childhood Center has a low child to staff ratio. Each classroom has one lead teacher and three teaching assistants for 15 to 17 children. Preschool children with disabilities are educated along side their peer group.