Head Start supports the development of the whole child. In addition to providing early learning experiences to help children improve their academic skills, Head Start promotes children’s physical wellness and social-emotional development, important factors in school readiness and future academic success.


All programs must meet the rigorous Head Start Program Performance Standards that define quality services for children and families enrolled in Head Start. Programs use the Head Start Child Outcomes Frameworks to track preschool children’s progress in eight domains of learning that include language, literacy, mathematics, science, creative arts, social and emotional development, approaches to learning, and physical development. Children who are dual language learners are supported in their home language as well as in English language acquisition. See below for an example of one MA program’s child outcomes.


A variety of options are vailable to families including part and full day programs, placements in family child care, and home-based services. To find out which options are available in your community, search for a Head Start program. To learn more about Head Start, click here.

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