What is Head Start?

Head Start is our nation's premier provider of developmental and educational 
services to infants, toddlers, preschoolers, pregnant women and their
families. Head Start and its community partners work with
at-risk families to remove their barriers to success and to cultivate
children's social, physical, emotional, and cognitive development so
they have the abilities necessary to succeed in school and life.

The Head Start program was founded on the premise that all of our
nation's young children - regardless of the circumstances of their
birth - should have the opportunity to succeed. We promote a love of
learning because we know that life-long learning is a cornerstone to
success. Today's Head Start children are tomorrow's high school and
college graduates. Not only do we want Head Start children to enter
school on equal footing with their peers, we want them to be prepared,
ready, and on the right path for success in life.

We know our impact on children, families, and communities happens one child at a time.

Head Start services are evidence-based,
developmentally appropriate, and family-centered. We coordinate with
community organizations to better support parents in their work and
child-rearing roles. Children who attend Head Start participate in a
variety of learning activities, eat healthy meals and snacks, receive
medical and oral health care, and enjoy playing in safe indoor and
outdoor environments.

Head Start includes comprehensive:
1) Early childhood education and care;
2) Child Development services for cognitive, social, emotional, and physical growth; and
3) Family development and support services.
Does Head Start Really Work?
Yes.  Because our approach addresses academic learning, emotional growth,
social maturation, parental training, health and dental care, and much more,
our results extend beyond the early childhood classroom to a child’s overall
well-being and preparedness for life.  At Head Start we focus on achievable growth.  
We know our impact on children, families, and communities happens one child at a time.
This does not mean that collective Head Start success is not measurable or tangible.  
It is.  We know our methods are working long-term when we produce more high school
(and college) graduates, decrease the need for special education services in our public
schools, and decrease the number of children and young adults repeating grades.  
We’re committed to ongoing adaptation, development, and improvement to ensure the future
successes of Head Start children.
How is Head Start Different?
Head Start programs operate under the strong belief that parents are
their child's first, best, and most influential teachers.

It is our holistic approach -- focused on child, family, and
community -- along with an unparalleled emphasis on comprehensive
services that makes Head Start stand out from other early childhood
programs.

Additionally, Head Start programs operate under the strong belief
that parents are their child's first, best, and most influential
teachers. A child's home is his/her primary learning center. Head Start
works with families to remove barriers to child and family success and
to deepen parents' abilities to support their children. Continued and
meaningful parental involvement in the education of their children is a
crucial element to improving child and family success. It is a child's
early experiences that help to determine how well a child performs in
school and life.

Its inclusiveness also makes Head Start different from other early
childhood programs. Head Start is committed to serving and supporting
all young children including those:
1) from culturally diverse backgrounds
2) with physical or developmental disabilities, and
3) who are vulnerable and may be experiencing or be at-risk for social or emotional distress.