Getting a Head Start on Financial Security
The federal Head Start program provides quality early childhood education and other supports to children in low-income families living at or below the federal poverty line. Head Start prepares young children for school by enhancing their social and cognitive development, and delivers educational, health, nutritional, social and other services to participating children and parents. The program serves two age cohorts: children from birth to age three, who participate in Early Head Start, and those from age three to five, who participate in preschool Head Start. The Head Start program delivers these services at the local level by providing grants to local agencies that work directly with economically disadvantaged children and families. Free to eligible families, Head Start places substantial emphasis on parent engagement and provides support to parents to help them reach their own academic and employment goals.