Head Start and Early Head Start

Established in 1965, Head Start promotes school readiness for children, ages three to five, in low-income families and enhances children's social and cognitive development by offering educational, nutritional, health, social and other services. Programs actively engage parents in their children's learning and help them make progress toward their own educational, literacy and employment goals. Parents play an important role in the administration of local Head Start programs.

Early Head Start (EHS), launched in 1995, provides support to low-income infants, toddlers, pregnant women and their families. EHS programs enhance children's physical, social, emotional, and intellectual development; help pregnant women access comprehensive prenatal and postpartum care; support parents' efforts to fulfill their parental roles; and help parents move toward self-sufficiency. Together, Head Start and Early Head Start have served tens of millions of children and their families.