Head Start

Did You Know:                       

Project Head Start, launched as an eight-week summer program by the Office of Economic Opportunity in 1965. It was designed to help break the cycle of poverty by providing preschool children of low-income families with a comprehensive program to meet their emotional, social, health, nutritional, and psychological needs. Recruiting children ages three to school entry age, Head Start was enthusiastically received by education, child development specialists, community leaders, and parents across the nation.

Today, Head Start is administered by the Office of Head Start (OHS), the Administration of Children Youth and Families (ACYF), Administration for Children and Families (ACF), and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

The Head Start Program continues to deliver comprehensive and high quality services designed to foster healthy development of low-income children. Head Start grantee and delegate agencies provide a range of individualized services in the areas of education and early childhood development; medical, dental, and mental health; nutrition; and parent involvement. Head Start services are responsive and appropriate to each child and family's development, ethnic, cultural, and linguistic heritage and experience.

Head Start has had a strong impact on communities and early childhood programs across the country. Each year, Head Start serves many American Indian, migrant, urban and rural children and their families in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Pacific Insular Areas.

All Head Start programs must adhere to Program Performance Standards. The Head Start Program Performance Standards define the services that Head Start programs are to provide to the children and families they serve. They constitute the expectations and requirements that Head Start grantees must meet. 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 grantees and delegate agencies maintain the highest possible quality in the provision of Head Start services.

Head Start Mission
The overall goal of Head Start is to bring about a greater degree of social competence in the young children of low-income families.
Northeast Nebraska Community Action Partnership  Head Start Mission Statement
Supporting young children and their families to discover and develop their potential throughout life.
The Three Major Sections of Head Start

  • Early Childhood Development and Health Services
  • Family and Community Partnerships
  • Program Design and Management