Head Start (HS) is a comprehensive program that provides educational, nutritional, health, and family services to preschool children ages 3-5 years old and their families. HS is a federally-funded program FREE to income eligible families. Eligibility criteria may include family income, age of child and/or a child's special needs. The Head Start program offers center base, home base and full day/full year programs.

Program Options available for Head Start

Center Base

Children ages 3-5 attend a developmentally appropriate classroom setting during the school year for 3.5 hours Monday-Thursday; 2 home visits and 2 conferences are completed each program year. Center activities provide a variety of learning experiences that are appropriate to the age and individual needs of the children. Each day is spent exploring and experimenting through play, music, language activities, and physical activities. All activities are success oriented and enable children to grow intellectually, socially, and emotionally. Head Start meets one-third of the child's daily nutritional needs by providing breakfast and lunch, or lunch and a snack.

Home Base

A Home Visitor meets with the family in the family’s home, once a week at a regularly scheduled time. Visits are 1.5 hours each week. They provide information regarding child development and guide parents in developmentally appropriate activities. Families enrolled in the Home Base program also have the opportunity to meet two times per month for a group socialization experience called PALS. PALS (Play and Learn Sessions) provide an opportunity for the child and parent to interact and build relationships in a specially designed environment.

Full Day Full Year

(Available in Vermillion)
USD Head Start partners with licensed community childcare centers to provide Head Start services within their childcare setting. Families are eligible to enroll their child in this option if they are working and/or attending school or training and need to contract a minimum of 30 hours for childcare weekly. This Head Start option runs 12 months a year, 5 days a week. The cost of childcare is reduced as families are not charged for the Head Start services.