Head Start is a free Federal program for preschool children from low-income families, from birth to age 5. It is operated by local non-profit organizations, and prepares children for school by enhancing their cognitive, social and emotional development. Children who attend Head Start participate in fun, educational activities. They also receive free medical and dental care, have healthy meals and snacks, and enjoy playing indoors and outdoors in a safe setting.
Parents are actively encouraged to participate in all aspects of the program. They help make decisions, plan what children learn, and offer advice about services. Parents (and other community members) are also encouraged to volunteer in classrooms and other parts of the program.