Comprehensive Services

From its very beginning in the summer of 1965, comprehensive services have been the hallmark of Head Start. Educational services, dental and health screening, and healthy meals are provided for all children, including those with disabilities. Relationships are the foundation of Head Start and of early learning, so another part of these services is supporting social and emotional health. Social services are brokered for all families with the assistance of strong community partnerships. All of these comprehensive services strengthen parents and families, so that in turn they can help their child prepare for school and life.

Comprehensive Services the Foundation of Head Start

Comprehensive Services the Foundation of Head Start

From the beginning, Head Start has offered comprehensive services to children and families. See how educational, health, and social service supports ensure children are ready to learn. Find out how Head Start staff also work with families to help them set goals, address their most pressing needs, identify their strengths, and most of all, help them find their own voices.

Patty Marickovich

New Ways to Approach School Readiness in Home Visiting

It’s been a series of dreary days in Washington, DC. As we watch the steady, heavy downpour of cold springtime rain from the Head Start office, our discussion drifts to how the home visitors are doing in our community. They are out in this soaking weather, visiting families and honoring their work of building partnerships with each parent who invites them into their homes. They are out there providing the essential comprehensive services that are the foundation of school readiness.

Sharon Yandian

Comprehensive Services and T/TA in Head Start

Comprehensive services have been the hallmark of Head Start from its very beginning in the summer of 1965. Educational services, dental and health screening, and healthy meals are provided for all children, including those with disabilities. Social services are brokered for all families with the assistance of strong community partnerships. The training and technical assistance (T/TA) system has taken many forms over the past 50 years, but its primary purpose has always been to strengthen the service delivery and management and fiscal systems within grantees.

Sarah Merrill

Head Start's Comprehensive Approach to Child Development

Did you know there was a panel of experts who developed recommendations for the first Head Start program? Recommendations for a Head Start Program by a Panel of Experts, also known as the Cooke Report, included key beliefs that are still with Head Start today.

Last Reviewed: April 2016

Last Updated: March 22, 2017