Head Start is a federally funded program that serves children and their families who are at or below the federal poverty level.
HEAD START provides early education for 3-5 year-old children, parent involvement 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.
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.
The Arizona Department of Education (ADE) Early Childhood Education (ECE) unit administers the Head Start Collaboration Office (HSCO) grant from the US Department of Health and Human Services to establish linkages among Head Start, child care, social welfare, health and state funded preschool programs, and K-12 Education.
Head Start in Arizona serves almost 15,000 children and 13,000 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.