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New app connects migrant farmworkers to Head Start and health services

September 18, 2017 —

The National Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Collaboration Office has developed a new resource to help migrant and seasonal farmworkers across the United States obtain Head Start and health services, as well as other support services, while they travel throughout the country in search of agricultural work. The Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Locator is available for Android and Apple smartphones and can be downloaded from Google Play and Apple app stores (search Migrant Head Start). The app was created through a partnership between the National Migrant Head Start Collaboration Office and FHI 360.

teacher helping childrenThe app fills a longstanding need for accessible information for migrants, who are a highly mobile and resource-poor population. It provides easy access to the contact information for all Migrant and Seasonal Head Start services in 38 states and approximately 1,200 health centers throughout the country and territories, including a map that shows each location. The app will allow families and the organizations that serve them to use a mobile phone or other device to rapidly and accurately identify Migrant and Seasonal Head Start programs and health centers in areas that families might be moving to, which could help them quickly obtain health and educational services for their children.

The idea for this app came from farmworker parents who needed to know where to safely leave their children while they worked in the fields and where to take their children when they became ill.

While the National Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Collaboration Office coordinated the app development, parents from the Oregon Child Development Coalition and Minnesota Tri-Valley, Inc. assisted with the design and testing of the app. Staff from FHI 360 helped with design and were instrumental in seeking and securing app developers (Clearly Innovative, Inc. and Cleverex Systems, Inc.). The East Coast Migrant Head Start Project ensured that the app met all the expectations for quality.

The Office of Head Start helps young children from low-income families prepare to succeed in school through local programs. Head Start and Early Head Start programs promote children's development through services that support early learning, health and family well-being.

Learn more about our work in early care and education.


Photo credit: Head Start Program/FHI 360