Head Start logoHistory of Head Start and Early Head Start

In 1964, the Federal Government asked a panel of child development experts to draw up a program to help communities meet the needs of disadvantaged preschool children. The panel report became the blueprint for Project Head Start.

Project Head Start, launched as an eight-week summer program by the Office of Economic Opportunity in 1965, was designed to help break the cycle of poverty by providing preschool children of low-income families with a comprehensive program to meet their emotional, social, health, nutritional, and psychological needs. Recruiting children age three to school entry age, Head Start was enthusiastically received by educators, child development specialists, community leaders, and parents across the Nation. Head Start serves children and their families each year in urban and rural areas in all 50 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Territories, including many American Indians and migrant children.

In 1969, Head Start was transferred from the Office of Economic Opportunity to the Office of Child Development in the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. It has now become a program within the Administration for Children and Families in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Head Start has grown from the eight-week demonstration project to include full day/year services and many program options. Families with children birth to age 3 have been served in Head Start since at least 1967 by Migrant/Seasonal Head Start and Parent Child Centers, however in the mid-1990s, birth to age 3 services were formalized and expanded with the inception of Early Head Start.

Give Your Child a Head Start

Head Start/Early Head Start Mission Statement:

Jefferson County Public Schools Head Start/Early Head Start is shaping the future by empowering children and families.

Families participating in Head Start receive assistance with:

  • Career Development (Parent Education)
  • Child Education and Development
  • Health Services (medical, dental, nutrition, and prenatal care)
  • Mental Health Services
  • Social Services
  • Transition to Kindergarten (P1)

Who is Eligible?

Eligibility for Head Start is based upon local and federal income guidelines and child age requirements. At least 10% of the enrollment opportunities are reserved for eligible children with special needs. Children with disabilities are fully mainstreamed into the Head Start/Early Head Start Program

View Annual Report

To learn more about the Jefferson County Public Schools Head Start/Early Head Start Program, please call (502) 485-3919.


Date Modified 3/19/15