What is Head Start?
Head Start is a federal program that promotes the school readiness of children ages birth to five from low-income families by enhancing their cognitive, social, and emotional development. Head Start is a comprehensive child development program which serves children from three to five and their families.
The Head Start Program delivers comprehensive high quality services designed to foster healthy development and increase the school readiness in low-income children. Head Start provides a range of individualized services in the areas of education and early childhood development; medical, dental, and mental health; nutrition; and parent involvement. In addition, the entire range of Head Start services is responsive and appropriate to each child's and family's developmental, ethnic, cultural, and linguistic heritage and experience.
Head Start programs must adhere to Program Performance Standards which define the services that Head Start Programs are to provide the children and families they serve. They are designed to ensure that the Head Start goals and objectives are implemented successfully, that the Head Start philosophy continues to thrive, and that all grantee and delegate agencies maintain the highest possible quality in the provision of Head Start services. To see the Head Start Program Performance Standards click here.
On September 1, 2016, the Office of Head Start released new Head Start Program Performance Standards. These take effect November 1st. There is a timeline for programs to begin transitioning into the new standards. Our program will continue using the previous standards during the 2016-2017 program year and begin implementation of the new standards beginning with the 2017-2018 program year. To see the NEW Head Start Program Performance Standards, click here.