The Early Education Division measurably impacts the development of children, parents, and the community to achieve school readiness and family stability for populations with the greatest needs. This is achieved through the provision of federally funded Head Start (HS), Early Head Start (EHS), and Child Care Partnership programs which provide early care and education to children prenatal to age five from low-income families, or in foster care, or whose family is experiencing homelessness, or with disabilities.
The HS and EHS programs offer parents a sense of belonging, other support services, and a chance to be involved in education activities to help their whole family, on subjects such as child development, parenting, job training, health and nutrition, and using resources in the community. Children who participate in the HS or EHS program access a variety of educational activities as well receive support for medical and dental care, have healthy meals and snacks, and enjoy playing indoors and outdoors in safe environments. Services are offered in either home-based or center-based classroom settings, which are also designed to meet the individual needs of children with disabilities.
Through partnerships with private child care centers, Head Start quality standards are expanded to child care partners that increase the high quality learning opportunities in the community. These partnerships support working families by providing a full-day, full-year program so that low-income children have the healthy and enriching early experiences they need to realize their full potential.