Head Start

Important Announcement   for Head Start and Heading to Kindergarten

Search for a Head Start Program
The Head Start Locator Tool helps families and guardians
find a Head Start program that meets their needs

Head Start is aHead Start LOGO federally funded school readiness program for children, prenatal to age 5. Head Start provides services to eligible children and families in the areas of  early learning, health, and family well-being, while engaging parents and guardians as partners, every step of the way. Head Start includes preschool programs that serve children 3 – 5 years old, and Early Head Start programs for infants, toddlers, and pregnant women. 

Head Start programs support children’s growth and development in a positive learning environment through a variety of services, which include:

  • Early Learning: Children’s readiness for school and beyond is fostered through individualized learning experiences. Through relationships with adults, play, and planned and spontaneous instruction, children grow in many aspects of development. Children progress in social skills and emotional well-being, along with language and literacy learning, and concept development.
  • Health: Each child’s perceptual, motor, and physical development is supported to permit them to fully explore and function in their environment. All children receive health and developmental screenings, nutritious meals, oral health care, and social-emotional support. Programs connect families with medical, dental, and mental health services to ensure that children are receiving the services they need.
  • Family Well-being: Parents and families are supported in achieving their own goals, such as housing stability, continued education, employment, and financial security. Programs support and strengthen parent-child relationships and engage families around children’s learning and development.
  • Children with Different Abilities: Young children vary in their skills, knowledge, backgrounds, and abilities. Head Start programs provide opportunities for all children to access, fully participate, and thrive in the classroom. Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) and Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals are used as part of effective teaching, individualizing, and creating inclusive environments that support positive outcomes for children and families.


Eligibility for Head Start is generally based on family income at or below the poverty level according to the Poverty Guidelines published by the federal government Children in foster care, children experiencing homelessness, and children from families receiving public assistance (TANF or SSI) are eligible regardless of income. Contact the Head Start or Early Head Start in your community to find out about their local requirements for enrolling your child.


Head Start programs offer a variety of service models, depending on the needs of the local community. Head Start programs may be located in schools, childcare centers, and family child care homes. Some programs also offer home-based services where a Home Visitor conducts weekly visits to children in their own home and works with the parent as the child’s primary teacher. For additional information on service providers in Ohio, visit the Early Care & Education Search Portal.


Learn More About Head Start

1 Head Start Act Section 642(B)(a)(2)(A)

Last Modified: 1/25/2024 1:41:41 PM