Head Start History

Head Start was created in the 1960’s as a health program for families with young children. Over the years Head Start has evolved because it realized that to be successful in working with children and families in health related issues, we needed to look at the big picture. It is hard to have good health when one is feeling like they are lacking in other areas of their lives. A preschool program evolved as a trial and it was so successful that 50 years later we are still implementing the original guidelines, these are called, the Head Start Performance Standards.

How are we funded?

Head Start is a federally funded program and is administrated by the Administration of Children, Youth, and Families, and the Department of Health and Human Services.

About 80% of our funding comes from the government. The other 20% comes in the form of in-kind.

In-Kind is simply donated services, space, or items. For example, parents or guardians who help in the classroom or attends a meeting for our program is donating services(time) and that is generating in-kind, whenever someone in the community donates supplies for the centers or gives us space to provide Head Start Services to children or trainings for parents and staff it is considered an in-kind.

Typically each classroom will have purple in-kind sheets that staff will ask parents and volunteers to sign, this documents in-kind for our program. Due to COVID restrictions centers have access to an electronic version of this form.

We are responsible for gathering $225,000 worth of in-kind each program year. We cannot do this without your help. So please fill out our in-kind form each month. In-kind must be documented in the month it has occurred in order to count. We cannot go back and count in-kind if the month has passed.

Head Start Philosophy

The Head Start Philosophy rests on 4 basic principles.

1. A child benefits from a comprehensive program that fosters normal development.

2. Parents are the primary educators of their children and must be directly involved in the program.

3. The well being of the child is linked with the well being of the entire family.

4. Partnerships with other agencies and organizations in the community are essential to meeting family needs.

Service Area

Andover, Baltimore, Barnard, Bethel, Bridgewater, Cavendish, Chester, Hartford, Hartland, Hubbardton, Ludlow, Norwich, Plymouth, Pittsfield, Pomfret, Quechee, Reading, Rochester, Royalton, Sharon, Springfield, Stockbridge, Sudbury, Weston, Windsor, West Haven, West Windsor, White River Junction, Wilder,