Early Childhood Nutrition & Health Programs

The Centro Mater Health Services Program provides a full range of assistance to our children and families. Assistance includes physical examinations, dental services, immunizations, laboratory tests, vision screening, and follow-up plans.

Early Childhood Nutrition

The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) Child Care Food Program requires that a variety of foods be served to the children to help them meet their nutritional needs.

The children are served two meals and one snack daily. Menu selections used at the centers are a reflection of the ethnic mix of the communities we serve. Serving sizes correspond to those recommended by the USDA, which meet two-thirds of the daily nutritional intake for the child. The meals are prepared by experienced cooks, trained by the Registered Dietician. The meals are low in sodium, sugar and fat, and are high in fiber. Only 100% fruit juices are served and children older than 2 years of age receive skim milk.

Disability Services

When a developmental problem is identified or suspected through screening, classroom observation, or a teacher/parent concern, we have a set of procedures in place to ensure that the child is properly screened and/or diagnosed. Then we track and monitor the child’s progress through the Disability Coordinator of Head Start. The Disability Coordinator is a liaison between Head Start and Individuals/Agencies that provide services to children with disabilities, including organizations such as MDCPS, FDLRS, Mailman Center for Child Development, Easter Seals, Hearing and Speech Center of Florida, and Integrated Rehabilitation Center.