Head Start is a publicly funded program that prepares young children for school and life.
Pregnant women and families with children birth to five years old that meet eligibility to the program may receive free early education and care for their child. Eligible families choose from a wide array of child development and family support services at no cost. Head Start programs offer learning environments designed to support children’s cognitive, social, and emotional development.
Head Start children have life-long benefits
Research shows that children who receive high quality early childhood education such as Head Start have much better education, employment, social, and health outcomes as adults than their non-Head Start counterparts. Head Start programs offer learning environments designed to support children’s cognitive, social, and emotional development.
The types of services available for children and their families through Head Start include:
- Health screening – developmental, growth, dental, nutrition, hearing, vision, and mental health
- High quality center-based child care
- Support for children with special health or learning needs
- Help connecting families to social services and resources for housing, employment, education, food, health, mental health counseling, substance use disorder, mental health, domestic violence, English as a Secondary Language, and other family needs
- Parenting education
- Literacy and continuing education
- The arts
- Leadership and advocacy opportunities.
Head Start services are responsive to your family’s ethnic, cultural, and linguistic heritage. Whenever possible, services are delivered in your family’s preferred language. Find a program in your area to apply.
The Head Start Advantage
This 18-minute documentary film explores the lives of Head Start students, parents, teachers, and alumni working to envision and create a better world for all Americans. Watch the film and you’ll get to know Head Start families throughout the country and see first-hand how the program has given more than 33 million Americans a head start on their education.
Parents can also find early childhood and learning center resources to support child development, family well-being, parenting, and many other topics.