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Early Head Start

The Early Head Start Program was added in 1994, as part of President Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty. DAEOC has had the Early Head Start program since Fall of 2009.

Early Head Start (EHS) programs support the mental, social and emotional development of children from birth to age 3. In addition to education and care services, programs provide children and their families with health, nutrition, social, and other services. EHS services are responsive to each child and family's ethnic, cultural, and linguistic heritage.

EHS encourages the role of parents as their child's first and most important teachers. Programs build relationships with families that support positive parent-child relationships, family well-being, and connections to peers and community.

EHS Serves pregnant women, infants, and toddlers. Early Head Start Programs are available to the family until the child turns 3 years old and is ready to transition into Head Start or another Pre-K program. Early Head Start helps families care for their infants and toddlers through early, continuous, intensive, and comprehensive services.

EHS Center Based Option:

  • The Early Head Start center based option offers families 10 hours of infant/toddler care and education in a classroom setting, including 4 hours of wrap around services provided by state child care subsidies and parent co-pays.

  • Class sizes serve 8 children, with a staff/child ration of 1 to 4.

  • The center based model is staffed by staff credentialed with Child Development Associate (CDA) credential, Associate and Bachelor Degrees.

  • Children are served nutritious meals.

  • The infant/toddler curriculum is individualized to meet the physical, intellectual, and social-emotional needs of each child.

EHS Home Based Option:

  • The home based program option is unique and effective because it allows qualified staff to provide services to children and families in the environment where they are most comfortable and familiar with, so they can support the learning opportunities children experience every day when they use household items and participate in daily routines.

  • Through the home based option, DAEOC Early Head Start Staff provide weekly home visits and socialization activities for enrolled infants, toddlers and their families.

  • During the 90 minute home visit, staff and families work together to identify and meet the child's development needs and goals.

  • The socialization activities include child/parent playgroups that meet twice a month.

All DAEOC Early Head Start Centers must meet the requirements of the State Child Care Licensing Bureau, fire safety, and sanitation inspections. DAEOC Early Head Start Centers also comply with Federal Regulations and Office of Head Start Program Performance Standards. DAEOC is committed to providing quality services to the children and families we serve. Services are provided to all children, regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, political beliefs, or age as outlined in Program Eligibility. For more information, contact your local DAEOC Head Start Center or call the DAEOC Central Office at (573) 379-3851.