Health and Wellness 

There is a strong connection between healthy behaviors and school achievement. Physical and dental exams are important in order to identify a child’s need for additional support or intervention, so to promote healthy development, children enrolled in our program are required to visit their medical provider before starting school or home visits. HS/EHS provides: child developmental assessments; vision, growth, and hearing screenings; nutrition education; and nutritious meals during school and group socializations.

What health forms do you need to submit to enroll in HS/EHS?

You will need to submit the following forms during enrollment and when well-child exams are completed during the school year to let our Health team know that your child has received the required health exams and vaccinations:

    • Universal Child Health Record Form completed by your child’s healthcare provider
    • Updated Immunization Record
    • Oral Health Form completed by your child’s dentist, or scheduled appointment
    • Health Insurance Card

Need help finding a doctor or dentist or obtaining health insurance?

HS/EHS works with enrolled families to make sure children are always up to date on all health and dental exams and receive any follow-up health services needed. The program can also help you find a doctor or dentist or obtain health insurance.

Child Health Requirements

Physical Exams
Children are required to have a physical exam before enrolling in Head Start/Early Head Start. If your child does not have a current exam, please make an appointment as soon as possible so the exam can be completed before school or home visits begin. 

Well-child physical exams or checkups are important for many reasons, including: tracking growth and development; discussing concerns you have about your child’s health; and getting scheduled vaccinations to prevent illnesses. Children who attend well-child visits have better school attendance. Better attendance helps children prepare for school. The timing and number of exams vary by age. If you are not sure if your child needs a well-child exam, please call your child’s doctor to find out.  

Regular well-child physical exams are due when children turn:

  • 2 months
  • 4 months
  • 6 months
  • 9 months
  • 12 months
  • 15 months
  • 18 months
  • 2 years
  • 3 years
  • 4 years
  • 5 years
  • 6 years

Blood Tests
Children may also need to be tested for lead and anemia. 

  • A small amount of lead in the blood can cause permanent damage to the brain, heart, and immune system. Even low levels of lead in blood have been shown to affect children’s ability to pay attention and school achievement. Children should be screened for lead at ages 1 and 2 years of age – or if not previously screened at these ages – at least once before their 6th birthday. 
  • Anemia or iron deficiency is a disorder that causes a child to feel tired because their body’s cells are not getting enough oxygen. This is often caused by not having enough red blood cells or not enough iron. Iron deficiency can cause developmental delays and can affect children’s ability to pay attention in school. Children should be screened for anemia beginning around 1 year of age.

Children are required to have an updated immunization record before enrolling in HS/EHS. Vaccines prevent your child from getting infections in school and spreading diseases to other children. For this reason, the NJ Department of Health requires children to get certain vaccines to attend school in New Jersey. For example, children 6 months through 5 years of age are required to have an annual flu shot by December 31. The single best way to protect against the flu is to get vaccinated each year.

Dental Exams
Children are required to been seen by the dentist starting at 12 months. If your child has not had a dental exam in the past six months, please make an appointment as soon as possible so the exam can be completed before school begins.

Dental care is important to a child’s overall health. Dental caries, also known as tooth decay, is the most common chronic disease in children. Children with healthy teeth are better able to eat, speak, and focus on learning. 

Health Forms

The following forms can be downloaded and printed by you or your doctor. Please return completed forms when applying to enroll in HS/EHS.  

Oral Health Form Children
Oral Health Form Pregnant Women
Universal Child Health Record