HEAD START provides early education, most typically on a part-day basis (ex. 3 ½ hours); parent involvement, education, and family support; and comprehensive health and nutrition education for children.
EARLY HEAD START serves women who are pregnant and children birth to 3 years old. Head Start serves children 3 to 5 and their families who are at or below the federal poverty level.
The federal Department of Health & Human Services allocates Head Start dollars directly to 22 Arizona Head Start grantees. The grantees may run programs and/or allocate monies to local Head Start program contractors. Head Start programs must adhere to comprehensive standards determined by the federal Office of Head Start.
Arizona Head Start State Collaboration Office (HSSCO)
The Arizona Department of Education (ADE) Early Childhood Education (ECE) unit administers the Head Start State Collaboration grant from the US Department of Health and Human Services to establish linkages among Head Start, childcare, social welfare, health and state funded preschool programs, and K-12 Education.
Head Start in Arizona serves almost 22,000 children and 21,000 families through 22 Head Start Grantees. Of the 22 grantees, nine are Regional Head Start Programs; thirteen are Tribal Head Start Programs and one is both a Regional and Migrant Head Start Program. Grantees are further extended by 11 Delegate Programs. All together, Arizona Grantees and Delegates administer comprehensive Head Start services at almost 500 locations throughout the state.
Arizona Head Start Programs provide high quality early childhood education, nutrition, health, mental health, disabilities, and social services with a strong parent involvement focus.
Arizona Head Start Association (AZHSA) also collaborates with community partners, other non-profit organizations, private child care providers, and State agencies, for example — to strengthen the early childhood work force and improve both quality of services and service delivery to children and families. Good things happen as partners identify new allies, strengths, and solutions.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued new Head Start Performance Standards that outline the masking and COVID-19 vaccination requirements for grant recipient staff, and the timelines, exceptions, and exemptions for each. As with other Head Start Performance Standards, these standards will apply to Head Start, Early Head Start, Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership, and American Indian Alaska Native, and Migrant and Seasonal Head Start programs.