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Head Start

What Is Head Start?

Head Start is a federal program that promotes the school readiness of children ages birth to 5 from low-income families by enhancing their cognitive, social and emotional development.

Head Start programs provide a learning environment that supports children's growth in:

  • Language and literacy
  • Cognition and general knowledge
  • Physical development and health
  • Social and emotional development
  • Approaches to learning

Head Start programs provide comprehensive services to enrolled children and their families, which include health, nutrition, social services and other services determined to be necessary by family needs assessments, in addition to education and cognitive development services. Head Start services are designed to be responsive to each child and family’s ethnic, cultural and linguistic heritage.

Head Start emphasizes the role of parents as their child’s first and most important teacher. Head Start programs build relationships with families that support:

  • Family well-being and positive parent-child relationships
  • Families as learners and lifelong educators
  • Family engagement in transitions
  • Family connections to peers and community
  • Families as advocates and leaders

Classroom