Early Head Start serves pregnant women and children birth to three years old and their families. The program provides intensive and comprehensive child development and early education services including health, nutrition, and family support services. Early Head Start seeks to provide the foundations for school readiness by fostering developmental competence during the earliest years of childhood. Services are delivered through a home visitation model with a weekly home visit and monthly socialization opportunities. The program is free to families who meet federal poverty guidelines or other risk factors and reserves ten percent of total enrollments for inclusion of children with disabilities regardless of income.
Head Start is a no-cost school readiness preschool program for children 3 – 5 years of age whose family incomes are at or below 100% of poverty. At least 10% of enrollment slots are reserved for children with documented disabilities regardless of income. Head Start is a comprehensive program that, in addition to education, provides for social services, health/dental, nutrition, mental health, and disability services to participating families. By coordinating these services for each child, Head Start provides skills that bring about a greater degree of social competence and allows the child to deal more effectively with his/her present environment and later responsibilities in school and life.
The Great Start Readiness Program provides many of the same services as Head Start but eligibility is limited to children who are 4 years of age. Programming is open to families whose incomes are within 250% of poverty. GSRP families who exceed income guidelines may be charged tuition based upon GSRP income requirements and a sliding fee scale.