Head Start is a federally-funded program for preschool children from low-income families. The Head Start program is operated by local non-profit organizations in almost every county in the country. Children who attend Head Start participate in a variety of educational activities. They also receive free vision, hearing, nutrition and developmental screening, have healthy meals and snacks, and enjoy playing indoors and outdoors in a healthy setting.
Head Start helps all children succeed. Services are offered to meet the special needs of children with disabilities. Children in Head Start are between the ages of three and five years old.
All Head Start programs must adhere to Program Performance Standards. The Head Start Program 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 Head Start grantees must meet. They are designed to ensure that the Head Start goals and objectives are implemented successfully, that the Head Start philosophy continues to thrive, and that all grantee and delegate agencies maintain the highest possible quality in the provision of Head Start services.