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North Carolina Head Start:
General Information
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What is Head Start?

Head Start is a federally funded, comprehensive preschool program designed to meet emotional, social, health, nutritional and psychological needs of three and four year olds and their families. Former President Lyndon B. Johnson initiated Project Head Start on May 18, 1965. Overall, the program is trying to the meet the goal of helping low-income children to be better prepared for school.


What is Early Head Start?

Early Head Start serves families with children ages birth through three and low-income pregnant women. Created by the 1994 Head Start Reauthorization Act, it is also a federally funded, comprehensive preschool program designed to meet emotional, social, health, nutritional and psychological needs.


How can I find a list of Head Start and Early Head Start Programs in my area?

To find programs in your area, click here.


Does North Carolina have a Head Start -State Collaboration Office?

Yes, in 1992, North Carolina was awarded a Head Start-State Collaboration grant from the US Administration for Children and Families. Although Head Start has a federal-to-local program structure, Head Start understands that the states play a key role in creating and implementing policies that affect the lives of low-income families with children. The NC HSSCO is housed in the Office of School Readiness with the other state- or federally-funded Pre-K programs administered in North Carolina including More At Four, Title I, Even Start Family Literacy, and Preschool Exceptional Children. Contact Khari Garvin, the NC Head Start State Collaboration Director, for additional information.


North Carolina Head Start Facts (2008-2009)
  • Approximately 17,546 children enrolled in NC Head Start programs
  • Approximately 1,417 children enrolled in NC Early Head Start programs

Additional Resources

National Head Start Association (NHSA)

NHSA is a private, not-for-profit membership organization that provides a forum to continue to enhance and advance Head Start services for low-income children and families ages birth through five.


Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center

The Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center is offered by the Administration for Children and Families to provide information and publications about the Head Start program.



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