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Head Start & Early Head Start

The Head Start and Early Head Start Programs provide free high-quality, early childhood education and child care for income-qualified families. Early Head Start serves children 6 weeks to 3 years old. Head Start serves preschoolers 3 to 5 years old. These FREE programs give you the time you need to work or go to school while your child has a chance to learn, socialize, get nutritious meals and snacks, and play in a licensed center with caring, qualified teachers.

Head Start children are more likely to graduate high school, attend college, and receive a post-secondary degree, license, or certification.

The Early Head Start and Head Start programs make sure your child is school ready by engaging him/her in activities that promote social, emotional, physical, cognitive, and educational development. Head Start is also the only nationally recognized program of its kind that provides support to children with disabilities and their families.

Supporting parents is an important part of these programs. As a parent, you are your child’s first and most important teacher. Head Start emphasizes your role in your child’s life, and our staff work with you and your child offering programs that support family well-being and positive parent-child relationships. If you wish, we can also connect you to other parents in the “Head Start Family.”

“The Head Start teacher always goes above and beyond and provides superior quality education to her students. Her unwavering and selfless devotion to her students and their families should be undoubtedly recognized.”

– Sanford Area Head Start Parent

Head Start offers both center-based and home-based options:

  • The center-based option offers part-day or full-day classes for enrolled children.
  • The home-based option includes an Early Head Start Home Visitor who visits once a week to work with the child and parents/guardian directly within the family’s home. Discovery Days provide opportunities for parents and their infants and toddlers to come to a center and participate in activities. It is a time to play, explore, learn, share information—and have fun!

Do I qualify for Head Start or Early Head Start?

Head Start and Early Head Start are available at no cost to all eligible families that reside in York County. Head Start is for children ages 3 to 5 years. Early Head Start is available for children from 6 weeks old to age 3 years.

Eligibility is based on income and family size. TANF and Supplemental Security Income recipients and foster parents automatically qualify. Apply today to find out if your family qualifies.

Head Start operates centers throughout York County between September and May, unless noted as full-year. All Early Head Start sites operate on a full-year basis.