Office of Head Start
The Office of Head Start administers the federally funded Head Start and Early Head Start programs.
Head Start programs provide comprehensive, child and family development services for pregnant women, low-income families and their children. There are Head Start programs in all 50 states and almost every county in the U.S. Seven organizations in Vermont administer a Head Start Program in their community and five of the seven administer a local Early Head Start Program.
The Office of Head Start (OHS) is located within the federal U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families. OHS has 12 offices. Vermont is part of Region 1 and is overseen by the OHS office in Boston.
Program information report
The Office of Head Start Program Information Report (PIR) provides comprehensive data on the services, staff, children, and families served by programs nationwide. All grantees are required to submit PIR data from their programs. National, regional, and program level data is available annually in September. The data collection and report was not completed in 2019 – 2020 program year due to COVID-19. The following are samples of the types of reports available to everyone:
- Download the National Early Head Start Services Snapshot PDF (2018-2019)
- Download the National Head Start Services Snapshot PDF (2018-2019)
- Download the Vermont Early Head Start Snapshot PDF (2018 -2019)
- Download the Vermont Head Start Snapshot PDF (2018- 2019)
National and Regional Head Start Associations
Head Start programs have membership organizations or associations at the state, regional, and national levels. In Vermont, there is the Vermont Head Start Association. VHSA holds monthly meetings to coordinate with state agencies and other non-profits. The meetings help efforts to provide services to Head Start families and initiate statewide efforts such as the Tooth Tutor Program.
The regional New England Head Start Association (NEHSA) meets several times a year and coordinates information and advocacy efforts between state associations. NEHSA holds conferences and webinars for directors, staff, parents, and other family members. These educational events build leadership, parenting, and other skills that support comprehensive child development and family services. VHSA identifies a director and parent representative to be a board member of the regional association. The NEHSA also selects among candidates nominated by the six state associations to send a delegation to the NHSA Board of Directors.
The National Head Start Association advocates in Congress for legislation to support Head Start families and programs, represents Head Start interests and concerns to federal agencies such as the Office of Head Start, and provides professional development opportunities on the national level. The NHSA governing board is made up of delegates from the regional associations.