The Head Start and Early Head Start programs are comprehensive child development programs that serve children from birth to age 5, pregnant women, and their families. These child-focused programs have the general goal of increasing school readiness of young children ifrom low-income families.
This program is administered by the Head Start Bureau, the Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF), Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Department of Health and Human.. Services (DHHS). The Head Start Program is awarded grants by the ACF Regional Offices and the Head Start Bureau's American Indian - Alaska Native and Migrant and Seasonal Program Branches directly to local public agencies, private organizations, Indian Tribes and school systems for the purpose of operating Head Start programs at the community level.
With a long tradition of delivering comprehensive and high quality services that are designed to help a healthy development in low-income children, Head Start grantees and delegates agencies that provide a range of individualized services in the areas of education and early childhood development. Medical, dental, mental health; nutrition; and parent involvement are also included in these services. Head Start is also responsive and appropriate to each child's and family's development, including ethnic, cultural, and linguistic heritage and experience.
Program Performance Standards are a must for Head Start. These standards define the services that Head Start Programs provide to the children and families they serve.