Head Start

DAEOC Head Start has grown to be one of the largest rural Head Start Programs in the United States of America after its humble beginnings as a six-week summer pilot program in 1965.

Head Start programs support the mental, social and emotional development of children ages 3-5 years. In addition to education and care services, programs provide children and their families with health, nutrition, social, and other services. Head Start services are responsive to each child and family's ethnic, cultural, and linguistic heritage.

Head Start 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. Head Start began as a program for preschoolers. The DAEOC Head Start program has sixteen Head Start Centers located in Dunklin, New Madrid, Mississippi, Pemiscot, Scott, and Stoddard counties.

Head Start Center Based Option

  • The center based program serves children in a Head Start Center four days per week for approximately 4 hours per day.

  • Class sizes serve 17 children, with a staff/child ratio of 2.5 to 17.

  • 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 preschool curriculum is individualized to meet the physical, intellectual, and social emotion needs of each child.

All DAEOC Head Start Centers must meet the requirements of the State Child Care Licensing Bureau, fire safety, and sanitation inspections. DAEOC 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.