Head Start

Head Start is a federally-funded, high quality child and family development program that promotes the school readiness of low-income children 3-5 years of age by enhancing their cognitive, social, and emotional development in learning environments that support children’s growth in language, literacy, math, science, social and emotional functioning, creative arts, physical skills, and approaches to learning.

Head Start also provides children and their families with health, educational, nutritional, social, and other services that are determined, based on family needs assessments, to be necessary.

At least 10% of enrollment opportunities are made available for children with disabilities. Head Start recognizes the importance of family-focused early intervention and strives to build upon the strengths of each family. Services and opportunities to children and families are provided through Head Start’s major service areas which include:

  • Education: Provides a variety of developmentally appropriate learning experiences to foster intellectual, social and emotional growth through center-based option

  • Transition: Provides children and parents with information and educational opportunities to prepare them for entrance into the public school system

  • Disabilities Services: Ensures that children with disabilities receive the full range of developmental services in an inclusive environment

  • Health/Nutrition: Emphasizes the importance of early identification and treatment of health problems and comprehensive health care

  • Mental Health: Recognizes the importance of providing mental health and psychological services to children and parents to encourage emotional and social development

  • Parent Involvement: Recognizes parents as the primary educator of their child and the most important influence in their child’s lives, parental involvement is encouraged at all levels

  • Social Services: Provides a wide range of education and training opportunities and referral and support services to meet identified family needs

The First Five Years

Head Start promotes school readiness for children in low-income families by offering educational, nutritional, health, social, and other services. Since its inception, Head Start has served more than 37 million children, birth to age 5, and their families. In 2019, Head Start was funded to serve nearly 1 million children and pregnant women in centers, family homes, and in family child care homes in urban, suburban, and rural communities throughout the nation. Learn more about the history of Head Start here.

Indiana County Head Start, Inc. provides Head Start and Early Head Start services throughout Indiana County. The agency enrolls 333 children birth through school age. Indiana County Head Start engages the child's family to assist in the preparation of their children's future success. and has become an established and trusted member of the human services and educational system of Indiana County.

Indiana County Head Start is a federally funded program whose purpose is to promote the school readiness of low-income children by enhancing their cognitive, social, and emotional development in a learning environment that supports children's growth in language, literacy, mathematics, science, social and emotional functioning, creative arts, physical skills, and approaches to learning. This includes the provision of low-income children and their families of health, educational, nutritional, social, and other services that are determined, based on family needs, to be necessary.

**Head Start admission is open to all regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability**.


The importance of early childhood development is now widely recognized-thanks in great part to the achievements of Head Start. The overwhelming success of Head Start programs at improving the cognitive and social abilities of preschoolers has helped to focus the nation’s attention on the most critical period in a child’s life-the first five years!


We are the Original Pre-K for PA

The federal government has funded Project Head Start since the 1960's. The early programs were six week summer programs operated by school districts.

Over 900,000 infants, toddlers and preschool children are enrolled in Early Head Start and Head Start programs in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and six territories, Pennsylvania serves over 36,000.

Research Indicates....Children enrolled in Head Start services are:

More likely to:

  • Have improved intellectual cognitive skills

  • Be healthier

  • Have enhanced self-esteem

  • Exhibit good social emotional skills

Less likely to:

  • Be retained in a grade

  • Require special education

  • Drop out of school