Early Head Start programs provide family-centered services for low-income families with very young children. These programs are designed to promote the development of the children, and to enable their parents to fulfill their roles as parents and to move toward self-sufficiency.
Early Head Start programs provide similar services as preschool Head Start programs, but they are tailored for the unique needs of infants and toddlers. Early Head Start programs promote the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development of infants and toddlers through safe and developmentally enriching care giving. This prepares these children for continued growth and development and eventual success in school and life.
Following the general Head Start model, Early Head Start programs support parents, both mothers and fathers, in their role as primary caregivers and teachers of their children. Programs assist families in meeting their own personal goals and achieving self-sufficiency across a wide variety of domains, such as housing stability, continued education, and financial security.
Early Head Start programs also mobilize the local community to provide the resources and environment necessary to ensure a comprehensive, integrated array of services and support for children and families.