Early Head Start/Head Start

Early Head Start/Head Start?

Early Head Start/Head Start is a FREE, comprehensive school readiness program that enhances the social, physical, and cognitive development of children. Children’s skills are developed in language and literacy, early math, social and emotional development, nature and science, creative arts, fine and gross motor skills, physical health practices and nutrition.

Comprehensive services provided include:  

  • Early Childhood Education 
  • All children receive health and development screenings, nutritious meals, oral health, and mental health support. Families are connected with medical, dental, and mental health providers to ensure that children receive the services they need
  • Family Engagement
  • Wrap around, extended-day services are provided as needed to working parents, or those continuing their education, from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm in Indian River County only.
  • Transportation as needed

Early Head Start/Head Start’s curriculum is evidence-based. Ongoing, age-appropriate assessment is utilized. Students’ progress is tracked, monitored, and shared with parents and other stakeholders.

EOC’s Early Head Start/Head Start Program is a full-day, full-school-year, holistic early childhood development program for children ages 2-5 from low-income families. Early Head Start/Head Start endeavors to improve and promote parent and family engagement to achieve positive outcomes, resulting in children who are healthy and ready to learn. It is recognized that, in order for children to thrive, they must have a healthy, stable home environment. Family engagement is a critical piece of the program. A family assessment, communications between the teacher and parents, and home visits engage parents in their child’s learning and development. Parents are supported in achieving their own goals. They receive training and referrals for community resources. The Early Head Start/Head Start Program supports and strengthens parent-child relationships and engages families around children’s learning and development. Parents also volunteer in the classroom, on field trips, and some serve on the Policy Council.

  • Early Head Start – Child must be 2 years of age on or before September 1st of the current school year
  • Head Start – Child must be 3 or 4 years of age on or before September 1 of the school year
  • Household income up to 130% of the poverty level View 2021 Poverty Level Link in email
  •  Family homeless
  • Child in foster care
  • Family receiving public assistance (TANF, SSI, or SNAP)

Head Start is a Florida VPK (Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten) provider. Parents must obtain a valid VPK certificate. Certificates and additional information are available by contacting the Early Learning Coalition of Indian River, Martin and Okeechobee Counties at (877) 220-1223 or by following the link below.

EOC’s seven (7) Centers in Indian River and Okeechobee Counties serve just under 400 children a year. Early Head Start services, for 2-year-olds, are currently provided at our Douglas Head Start location only. All locations offer Head Start services for children 3 -5 years of age. The program is funded by the Department of Health & Human Services and requires a 20% local match.

Why Choose Early Head Start/Head Start?

  • EOC has a 50+-year track record of success.
  • The curriculum is evidence-based.
  • All teachers have at least a CDA.  Each Head Start classroom has at least 1 teacher with an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree.
  • Head Start engages the family in the child’s learning.
  • EOC offers additional resources and programs to help your family succeed.
  • Your child deserves the best!

Why is it Important to Give Your Child an Early Head Start/Head Start?
Children must be prepared for educational success by age 5 to succeed in school, work and life. Per the Indian River County Children’s Needs Assessment 2014:

  • 29% of County children were not kindergarten-ready.
  • 44% of County 3rd graders read below grade level.

Low-income children who don’t receive high-quality early care and education often become statistics:

  • 25% more likely to drop out;
  • 40% more likely to become a teen parent;
  • 50% more likely to be placed in special education;
  • 60% more likely not to attend college;
  • 70% more likely to be arrested for a violent crime.

In accordance with Federal Law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.

To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call toll free (866) 632-9992 (Voice). Individuals who are hearing impaired or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

PLEASE DONATE!  We Need Your Help
Additionally, Early Head Start/Head Start funding requires a 20% local match.