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Early Childhood Education

Our department offers:

• Education
• Family and Community Partnerships
• Health, Disabilities and Mental Health Services
• Nutrition

Head Start

The Big Sandy Rancheria Tribal Head Start is a small program with funding for 20 children. Our program consists of a lead teacher, two teaching assistants, cook, program assistant, director, and custodian. The BSR Head Start program operates Monday through Friday. We serve income eligible families with children ages 3 to 4.


Our mission statement states that, “The Big Sandy Rancheria Tribal Head Start staff is a highly motivated team of individuals dedicated to the Early Childhood Development of children and to building a strong Family and Community Partnership. We provide age appropriate direction for Head Start children, their families, and community members in the following areas: education, nutrition, mental health and social services.”

The BSR Head Start staff is dedicated to making sure our children are Kindergarten ready. We want them to succeed and advance once they graduate from our program. We understand the child’s best teacher is their family and want to support their growth and well-being.

Johanna Leal is Head Start's Program Director. Ms. Leal’s journey began as a teacher’s assistant for Head Start at BSR in 2011. She soon became a headteacher and now directs seven staff members, including three teachers and a cook.

For more information, call Joanna Leal at (559) 374 0066 ext. 216

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Childcare Development Fund

This program is funded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Child Care Bureau under the federal Child Care & Development Fund (CCDF) program.


The program is further regulated by policy of the Big Sandy Rancheria, a federally recognized Indian Tribe.


A formal application process is required to certify eligibility according to family income by family size and the reason for needing service and to determine (if any) the family share of cost. 

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