Early Head Start and Head Start: Infant/Family and Early Childhood Mental Health Services
Over 3,000 infants and young children and their families in Early Head Start and Head Start programs are served through parent and staff mental health consultation, parent and staff training, parent groups, reflective supervision of staff, classroom evaluation, and mental health services. The emphasis is on school readiness through addressing the social and emotional well-being of the children, families, and staff. Services have been provided since 1975.
Important Things to Know
Early Head Start and Head Start programs provide comprehensive services to support the mental, social and emotional development of infants and young children from low income families.
Early Head Start programs serve low-income pregnant women and families with infants and toddlers ages birth to three. Home visiting and parent group activities are part of the mission.
Head Start programs that serve children, ages three to five, promote the social, emotional and cognitive development of children through preschool programs and the provision of health, nutritional, mental health and social services. Families are engaged in their children’s learning and development.
Ten percent of enrollment must be offered to children with an Individualized Family Service Plan or an Individualized Education Plan. Families of children with IFSPs and IEPs are not means tested.
Eighty percent of Head Start funding comes from federal grants; twenty percent comes from cash or services contributed by communities. Grants are provided to non-profit organizations and school systems. Head Start programs serve over 1,000,000 families each year.
Marie Kanne Poulsen, PhD, Co-Project Lead
Project Duration: Annually
Collaborators: Head Start/Early Head Start Programs