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Information on Head Start program.

The federal government created the Head Start program in order to help children from lower income or working poor families, and it is available for children who range in age from birth to age 5. Parents can also benefit, as it offers the entire family access to social services and facilitates the involvement of the parents in their child’s education. Head Start will also help ensure that a students or child’s health, dental and nutritional needs are met.

The program is flexible, and it was designed by the Department of Health and Human Services to be sensitive to a family’s cultural or ethnics requirements. So resources can be home based, offered in a local non-profit center, designed for migrants or Native Americans, and more. It will offer academic, emotional, and social development services. The program will also arrange for health, nutrition, and other care for income-eligible families. It will better prepare clients and them be successful in school and society at large.

One component of the program is known as Early Childhood Development, and a key service is education. Children are exposed to various classes and experiences, and it can help them develop emotionally, socially, and intellectually. This can help children develop skills to get along with others, provide them with a leg up on their peers, and also give them some self-confidence. Participants will get a start on improving their knowledge and education.

Health services will ensure children can access high quality yet free medical, dental, and/or the vision care they need. Head Start involves and coordinates health professionals, parents, and others to ensure that children are offered free or very low cost medical care to help them meet their basic health needs.

Some of the health and medical care provided by Head Start can include immunizations, hearing screening, dental care, oral health services, vision testing, and Well Child Exams. Most centers partner with local clinics, hospitals, and medical providers in the state. Continue with how to get free health care.

Nutritional needs can be addressed as well. The centers and program volunteers and staff will help establish good eating habits. They can provide free hot meals, lunches or snacks to those children who need them. The goal is to promote life-long well-being and also nurture health development. All food and nutritional services are intended to supplement what the family is already doing at home.





Mental wellness is addressed. This can enhance the understanding and awareness of the importance of mental health challenges and needs in all children. This will help ensure the child is in the best position possible for long term success.

Parents are supported as well as part of the Head Start Family Partnership program. It offers parents access to social services, opportunities and support for growth. This is a key resource as the parent is the main caregiver and educator for a child or student. Resources can help with identifying strengths, needs and interests, and staff can even help parents with things like finding a job, or applying for government assistance.

Information and referrals are offered as part of Community Partnership. The program will serve families within the context of their local town or community, and offer them information on and referrals to non-profit agencies and government resources. Get free information about local assistance programs that can provide disability services, education, employment, medical care, job training, and more. This can even help qualified parents meet their own goals, including financial independence. More on low income help.

The Seasonal and Migrant Head Start component provides the highly acclaimed Head Start services to children of migrant and/or seasonal farm workers. These particular services target children from six-months up to and including five-years of age. While each state’s program can vary, in general because of the seasonal families' work constraints, many centers offer longer service hours and are more flexible than the traditional Head Start services.

Early Head Start services for children

A similar program is Early Head Start (EHS). This offers many of the same resources and services as indicated above, but it targets the needs of infants, pregnant women, newborn and toddlers. The Early Head Start Program will help promote healthy prenatal outcome and infant and toddler development. Education includes high quality preschool education to national standards. Free health screenings, health and dental check–ups are offered too. It is critical for infants and kids to get the care they need, and find options for children to prevent tooth decay.





Agencies and Head Start programs by state

Alabama Head Start State Collaboration Office - Department of Children's Affairs
Address - 135 S. Union Street Suite 215, Montgomery, AL 36130
Dial 334-353-2700

801 W. 10th Street, Suite 200
Juneau, AK 99811-0500
Telephone number is 907-465-4862
Or dial 202-884-8155 to reach the American Indian/Alaska Native Head Start program.

Arizona Head Start Early Childhood Education and the School Effectiveness Division as well as the Department of Education
Located at 1535 West Jefferson Street in Phoenix.
Phone: 602-364-1530

1400 West Markham Street, Little Rock, AR 72201
Dial 501-371-0740

California Head Start State Department of Education and Child Development Division
Address - 1430 N Street, Suite 3410, Sacramento, CA 95814
Main phone number - 866.371.0740

130 State Capitol, Denver, CO 80203
Phone - 303-866-2087

Address - 165 Capitol Avenue Hartford, CT 06106.
Phone number is 860-713-6767 or 303-866-2087

401 Federal Street Suite 200, Dover, DE 19901-3639
Phone: 302-735-4295

District of Columbia
810 First Street, NE 4th Floor, Washington, DC 20002
Call (302) 735-4000

Florida Head Start State Collaboration
Address is 250 Marriott Drive, Tallahassee, FL 32301

Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning, Head Start
2 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive SE, 754 East Tower
Atlanta, GA 30334
Telephone: 404-651-7425

820 Mililani Street, Suite 606
Honolulu, HI 96813-2936

Idaho Department of Health and Welfare
450 W State Street Boise, ID 83720
Phone number is 1-877-456-1233





Illinois Department of Human Services – Head Start
10 Collinsville Avenue, Suite 203
East St. Louis, IL 62201
217-241-3511, 217-785-2559 or 217-691-9495

402 West Washington Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Phone: 317-233-6837, 317-234-2782

400 East 14th Street, Des Moines, IA 50319-0146
Dial 515-326-5389

915 Southwest Harrison, Suite 580 West Topeka, KS 66612

Kentucky Office of Early Childhood
125 Holmes Street Frankfort, KY 40601
Call 502-782-0201

627 N. 4th Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70802
Telephone numbers are 225-342-1292 or 225-342-1290

Maine Head Start is administered by DHHS Office of Child and Family Services
2 Anthony Avenue, SHS 11 Augusta, ME 04333

Location is 200 W. Baltimore Street, 10th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone: 410-767-0140

Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care
Main address is 51 Sleeper St.
Boston, MA 02210
Dial 617-988-6600 or 617-988-6634

Michigan DHHS
221 N. Pine Street, Lansing, MI 48933

Minnesota Head Start State and Early Learning Services, Department of Education
1500 Highway 36 West, Roseville, MN 55113-4266

580 High St., 18th Floor, Jackson, MS 39205
Call 601-576-2021

1400 Rock Quarry Road
Columbia, MO 65211-3280
Call the agency at 573-884-5078 or 573-884-0579





111 N. Jackson, 5th Floor
Helena, MT 59620-2925
(406) 444-1788 or 406-444-1828

Nebraska Department of Education
Address: 301 Centennial Mall South, Lincoln, NE 68509-4987
Phone: 402-471-3501

560 Mill Street, 2nd floor Reno, NV 89502
Telephone - (775) 684-4195

New Hampshire Head Start State Division for Children, Youth and Families
Address - 129 Pleasant Street Concord, NH 03301-6505

New Jersey
100 Riverview Plaza
Trenton, NJ 08625-0500
Call 609-777-2074

New Mexico
PERA Building, Room 116 B, Santa Fe, NM 87502-5160

New York Office Council on Children and Families
52 Washington Street, West Building
Rensselaer, NY 12144
Telephone number is (518) 473-3652

North Carolina
2075 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-2075
Telephone: 919-807-3618

North Dakota
600 East Boulevard Avenue Department 325
Bismarck, ND 58505-0250
701-328-1711 or 800-472-2622





North Carolina
2075 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-2075
Call 919-807-3618

Ohio Department of Education
25 South Front Street
Columbus, OH 43215
Telephone: 614-466-0224

Oklahoma – OKACAA
605 Centennial Boulevard Edmond, OK 73013
Call 405-949-1495

Oregon Department of Education
255 Capitol Street, NE
Salem, OR 97310-0203
Telephone - (503) 947-5600

HSSCO 333 Market St., 6th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17126
800-346-3020, 484-955-6493 or 484-335-8781

Rhode Island Department of Human Services
600 New London Avenue
Cranston, RI 02920
Call 401-462-3071

South Carolina Department of Social Services
1535 Confederate Avenue
Columbia, SC 29202

South Dakota
Main address is 800 Governors Drive
Pierre, SD 57501-2294
Phone: 605-773-4640

710 James Robertson Parkway
Nashville, TN 37243
Primary number is 615-741-4849

Texas Head Start - The Children's Learning Institute
7000 Fannin, Suite 1920-C
Houston, TX 77030
713-500-3835 or call 713-500-3832

1385 South State Street Salt Lake City, UT 84115
Phone: 801-468-0026

103 South Main Street, Building 2
North Waterbury, VT 05671-0204
802-769-6139, call 802-241-4052 or dial 802-585-5777

Virginia Division of Child Care & Early Childhood Development
801 E Main Street, 8th Floor
Richmond, VA 23219-2901

P.O. Box 40970
Olympia, WA 98504-0970
1.866.482.4325 or 360-725-3517

West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services
350 Capitol Street, Room B-18
Charleston, WV 25301
Main number is 304-356-4604 or call 304-356-4552

125 South Webster Street
Madison, WI 53707-7841
Call 608-442-6879





122 W. 25th St., Herschler 1E
Cheyenne, WY 82002
Phone: 307-777-2892 or 307-777-8960


By Jon McNamara

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