Head Start and Early Head Start

Head-startlogoWhat is Head Start?
WCCA Head Start is a comprehensive early childhood development program serving low-income children from age three to five and their families. Head Start is a Federal program that is operated by a local non-profit organization – West Central Community Action (WCCA). Children who attend Head Start participate in a variety of educational activities including literacy, language, science, social-emotional, and much more. They also receive medical and dental services, have healthy meals and snacks, and enjoy playing safely indoors and outdoors. In addition to the educational services provided by Head Start, family involvement is at the core of its success. Head Start families can take part in the classroom as a volunteer, help with classroom projects, and even help develop curriculum. Elected family members take part in our Policy Council, a board that partners with staff members in decision-making responsibilities for the program. Families can participate in trainings in areas such as child rearing, job training, health and nutrition, as well as learn about other resources in our community.

Benefits of Head Start
Numerous studies have confirmed time and again that a child's learning begins at birth. For low-income children, quality pre-kindergarten education such as provided by WCCA Head Start is crucial in establishing life-long healthy patterns and development. Because experiences between birth and age five shape a child for life, the quality of the child's environment, social interactions, and learning experiences during those years is critical.


Program Options (Options vary by site)
Half-day a.m. & p.m.
Full-day (approximate times 6:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.)
Wrap Around Child Care Services (not available at all sites)
Breakfast, lunch and snack served during class time.


Early Head Start Home-Based Program is a comprehensive, flexible child development and parenting education program delivered through home visitation for prenatal women and families with children aged birth to three. The focus of the parent component is to assist parents build skills to promote their child's development, increase family literacy, and encourage healthy parent‐child relationships. Home based teachers bring in activities to help you support healthy brain development for your children. Providers also give parenting support and education, and assist families with transitioning their children into Head Start or other preschool programs when the child reaches age three. Family advocacy, resource and referral to other community services are also provided.

Program Overview

Head Start is a comprehensive preschool program for low-income children and families. Head Start provides services that actively encourage and promote social, emotional, intellectual, and physical growth and development. Head Start fosters good health through current immunizations, physical and dental exams, and treatment. Parents have a variety of opportunities to participate in their child's education, from volunteering to becoming employed at a center. Support services include social services, mental health services, and transportation.

Early Head Start is an extention of Head Start services for pregnant women, infants and toddlers, which serves families in Crawford, Fremont, Mills, Montgomery, Pottawattamie, and Page Counties.

Program Contact Info

Call 1-800-698-5886 or contact your local outreach center for more information.