Head Start is a federally-funded, high quality child and family development program that promotes the school readiness of low-income children 3-5 years of age by enhancing their cognitive, social, and emotional development in learning environments that support children’s growth in language, literacy, math, science, social and emotional functioning, creative arts, physical skills, and approaches to learning.
Head Start also provides children and their families with health, educational, nutritional, social, and other services that are determined, based on family needs assessments, to be necessary.
At least 10% of enrollment opportunities are made available for children with disabilities. Head Start recognizes the importance of family-focused early intervention and strives to build upon the strengths of each family. Services and opportunities to children and families are provided through Head Start’s major service areas which include:
Education: Provides a variety of developmentally appropriate learning experiences to foster intellectual, social and emotional growth through center-based options
Transition: Provides children and parents with information and educational opportunities to prepare them for entrance into the public school system
Disabilities Services: Ensures that children with disabilities receive the full range of developmental services in an inclusive environment
Health/Nutrition: Emphasizes the importance of early identification and treatment of health problems and comprehensive health care
Mental Health: Recognizes the importance of providing mental health and psychological services to children and parents to encourage emotional and social development
Parent Involvement: Recognizes parents as the primary educator of their child and the most important influence in their child’s lives, parental involvement is encouraged at all levels
Social Services: Provides a wide range of education and training opportunities and referral and support services to meet identified family needs