NECC & Early Head Start

The basis of the Head Start program was established in 1964 and began as an initiative to break the cycle of poverty by providing preschool age children of low-income families with the comprehensive education and care those children need. Head Start soon became a comprehensive program to meet their emotional, social, health, nutritional and psychological needs.

Head Start has since grown and flourished, and has now served over 32 million children since its inception. Its annual scope reaches over a million children and families each year and today includes the Early Head Start programs that support children’s growth and development in a positive learning environment through a variety of services, which include:

  • Early learning: Children’s readiness for school and beyond is fostered through individualized learning experiences. Through relationships with adults, play, and planned and spontaneous instruction, children grow in many aspects of development. Children progress in social skills and emotional well-being, along with language and literacy learning, and concept development
  • Health: Each child’s perceptual, motor, and physical development is supported to permit them to fully explore and function in their environment. All children receive health and development screenings, nutritious meals, oral health and mental health support. Programs connect families with medical, dental, and mental health services to ensure that children are receiving the services they need.
  • Family well-being: Parents and families are supported in achieving their own goals, such as housing stability, continued education, and financial security. Programs support and strengthen parent-child relationships and engage families around children’s learning and development.

If you are interested in the Head Start or Early Head Start programs and would like to learn more, visit our the Nebraska Early Childhood Exchange. There, you can find everything you need to know, such as how to get started, the EHS performance standards, and the hundreds of other resources The Exchange offers its members.

Here at the Nebraska Early Childhood Collaborative, we are proud to work with our Early Head Start-Child Care Partner, the Omaha Early Learning Center as we strive to build a brighter future for the children we serve.

Director of Early Learning/Head Start
Nebraska Early Childhood Collaborative