Head Start Overview
HEAD START provides early education, most typically on a part-day basis (ex. 3 ½ hours); parent involvement, education, and family support; and comprehensive health and nutrition education for children.
EARLY HEAD START serves women who are pregnant and children birth to 3 years old. Head Start serves children 3 to 5 and their families who are at or below the federal poverty level.
The federal Department of Health & Human Services allocates Head Start dollars directly to 22 Arizona Head Start grantees. The grantees may run programs and/or allocate monies to local Head Start program contractors. Head Start programs must adhere to comprehensive standards determined by the federal Office of Head Start.
- Early Childhood National Centers on Program Management and Fiscal Operations: Promoting Continuity of Care in Infant/Toddler Settings
Arizona Head Start State Collaboration Office (HSSCO)
The Arizona Department of Education (ADE) Early Childhood Education (ECE) unit administers the Head Start State Collaboration grant from the US Department of Health and Human Services to establish linkages among Head Start, childcare, social welfare, health and state funded preschool programs, and K-12 Education.
Head Start in Arizona serves almost 22,000 children and 21,000 families through 22 Head Start Grantees. Of the 22 grantees, nine are Regional Head Start Programs; thirteen are Tribal Head Start Programs and one is both a Regional and Migrant Head Start Program. Grantees are further extended by 11 Delegate Programs. All together, Arizona Grantees and Delegates administer comprehensive Head Start services at almost 500 locations throughout the state.
Arizona Head Start Programs provide high quality early childhood education, nutrition, health, mental health, disabilities, and social services with a strong parent involvement focus.
Arizona Head Start Association (AZHSA) also collaborates with community partners, other non-profit organizations, private child care providers, and State agencies, for example — to strengthen the early childhood work force and improve both quality of services and service delivery to children and families. Good things happen as partners identify new allies, strengths, and solutions.
Arizona HSSCO 2021-2026 Strategic Plan
- 2019 AZ PIR Data Snapshot
- Strategic Plans Executive Summary
- Arizona Town Hall 2020 Report: Creating Vibrant Communities
- Child Care / Early Learning Needs Assessment
- HSSCO 2020 Needs Assessment Data Overview
Previous Strategic Plan
Head Start Resources
- ECLKC: Office of Head Start Early Childhood Knowledge and Learning Center
- Office of Head Start: An Office of the Administration for Children & Families
- AZHSA: Arizona Head Start Association
Head Start Locator
Please click below to find a Head Start / Early Head Start program in your area.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued new Head Start Performance Standards that outline the masking and COVID-19 vaccination requirements for grant recipient staff, and the timelines, exceptions, and exemptions for each. As with other Head Start Performance Standards, these standards will apply to Head Start, Early Head Start, Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership, and American Indian Alaska Native, and Migrant and Seasonal Head Start programs.
The Interim Final Rule with Comment Period (IFC) is now posted in the Federal Register.
Office of Head Start COVID Updates: https://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/about-us/coronavirus/ohs-covid-19-updates
- Summary of Vaccine and Mask Requirements to Mitigate the Spread of COVID-19 in Head Start Programs
- Revised Head Start Program Performance Standards on Staff Vaccination and Universal Masking
- Universal Masking and COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement FAQs
- Webinar: New Standards for Vaccination and Masking to Reduce Transmission of COVID-19