Head Start/Early Head Start
Head Start/Early Head Start is a quality comprehensive child and family development program that serves pregnant women, infants, toddlers and preschool children (ages three to five) and their families. Children entering kindergarten prepared to succeed is the overall goal of Head Start as well as giving parents the tools they need to guarantee their child’s success.
Head Start/Early Head Start is administered by the Office of Head Start through the Administration of Children, Youth and Families in the Department of Health and Human Services. Grants are awarded directly to local public agencies, private organizations, Indian Tribes and school systems for the purpose of operating Head Start/Early Head Start within the community. Johnston-Lee-Harnett Community Action is the grantee for our Head Start/Early Head Start Program.
Head Start has a 50-year tradition of delivering comprehensive and high-quality services designed to foster healthy development in low-income children. Head Start grantees provide a range of individualized services in the areas of education and early childhood development, medical, dental, mental health, nutrition, and parent involvement. Head Start also provides services to children with disabilities in collaboration with the local school systems and the Children’s Developmental Services Association. The entire range of Head Start services is responsive and appropriate to each child and family’s developmental, ethnic, cultural, and linguistic heritage and experience.
All Head Start/Early Head Start programs must adhere to Program Performance Standards. Performance standards define the services that Head Start programs are to provide to the children and families they serve. They constitute the expectations and requirements that grantees must meet. Performance standards are designed to ensure that the Head Start/Early Head Start goals and objectives are implemented successfully, that the Head Start philosophy continues to thrive, and that all agencies maintain the highest possible quality in the provision of services.
All centers are four and five star rated through the Division of Child Development. The Selma Early Head Start Learning Center is Early Head Start only. Dunn Head Start, Lee County Head Start, and Lillington Head Start are Head Start and Early Head Start. Class sizes range from 15-20. Head Start is funded for 637 preschoolers and 80 pregnant women, infants, and toddlers.