Head Start

Head Start programs offer a variety of service models, depending on the needs of the local community. Many Head Start and Early Head Start programs are based in centers and schools. Other programs are located in child care centers and family child care homes. Some programs offer home-based services that assigned dedicated staff who conduct weekly visits to children in their own home and work with the parent as the child’s primary teacher.

In 1965 Head Start began nationally as a program for preschoolers. Today 3 and 4 year-olds make up over 80 percent of the children served by Head Start programs each year. Early Head Start was created to serve pregnant women, infants, and toddlers. Early Head Start programs are available to the family until the child turns 3 years old and is ready to transition into Head Start or another pre-K program. Just recently, many Early Head Start programs have been funded to partner directly with existing infant and toddler child care programs, resulting in higher quality services to all children enrolled in the child care program.

Head Start programs 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.


Who Is Eligible to Participate in Head Start?

Children from birth to age five who are from families with incomes below the poverty guidelines are eligible for Head Start and Early Head Start services. Children from homeless families, and families receiving public assistance such as TANF or SSI are also eligible. Foster children are eligible regardless of their foster family’s income. The HHS Poverty Guidelines. (https://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty-guidelines)


Early Head Start

Early Head Start is community-based program for at-risk families with Expectant Mothers, infants, and toddlers up to age 3. It is a program that came out of Head Start. The program was designed in 1994 by an Advisory Committee on Services for Families with Infants and Toddlers formed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. “In addition to providing or linking families with needed services—medical, mental health, nutrition, and education—Early Head Start can provide a place for children to experience consistent, nurturing relationships and stable, ongoing routines.” Early Head Start offers three different options and programs may offer one or more to families. The three options are: a home-based option, a center-based option, or a combination option in which families get a set number of home visits and a set number of center-based experiences, There are also locally designed options, which in some communities include family child care.


Long Island Head Start staff provides Early Child Development services including:


• NYS Licensed Day Care Centers

• Diapers and Formula provided

• Nutritious Meals- Breakfast, Lunch, Snack

• Outdoor Playgrounds

• Individualized Home-Based Services

• Year-round services including summer

• Support services to their families

• Before & after care available at select centers


Eligibility for Children with Diagnosed Disabilities

If your child has a diagnosed disability and has an Individual Education Plan-IEP that affects their learning ability, your child may qualify for enrollment in Head Start regardless of household income.

Early Head Start - Child Care Partnerships (EHS-CCP)

Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships

The Early Head Start Child Care-Partnerships Program enhances and supports early learning settings to provide comprehensive and continuous services. It increases access to high-quality, full-day, full-year child care, including family child care, for low-income working families. The program also supports the development of infants and toddlers through strong relationship-based experiences and prepares them for the transition into Head Start and preschool. EHS-CCP brings together the best of Early Head Start and child care through layering of funding. All infants and toddlers attending an EHS-CCP program benefit from facilities and homes that are licensed and meet safety requirements. Children in classrooms with EHS-CCP-enrolled children also benefit from qualified teachers receiving ongoing supervision and coaching to support implementation of curriculum and responsive care giving. Only enrolled EHS-CCP children are eligible for direct family-specific benefits such as home visits, health tracking and follow-up and individualized family support services. However, EHS-CCP programs operationalize services to ensure there is no segregation or stigmatization of EHS-CCP children due to the additional requirements or services.

The EHS-CCP program brings together the strengths of child care and Early Head Start programs. Child care centers and family child care providers respond to the needs of working families by offering flexible and convenient full-day/full-year services. In addition, child care providers have experience providing care that is strongly grounded in the cultural, linguistic, and social needs of the families and their local communities. Through the EHS-CCP program, child care centers and family child care providers have access to resources to provide the comprehensive services needed to support better outcomes for the nation's most vulnerable children. Early Head Start is a research-based program that emphasizes the importance of responsive and caring relationships to support the optimal development of infants and toddlers. EHS-CCP provides comprehensive family-centered services that adhere to the Head Start Program Performance Standards (HSPPS) to support high-quality learning environments. Integrating Early Head Start comprehensive services and resources into the array of traditional child care and family child care settings creates new opportunities to improve outcomes for infants, toddlers, and their families.

Families must meet income and program eligibility criteria to be eligible for a child care subsidy. All individuals applying for a child care subsidy must complete an application and submit supporting documentation with their Family Service Worker. Families must meet income and program eligibility criteria to be eligible for a child care subsidy.

CLICK HERE for more information about Suffolk County’s subsidized child care program including:
Descriptions of the program and income eligibility criteria. Answers to frequently asked questions. A Child Care Eligibility Wizard where you can quickly check YOUR family’s program and income eligibility. Links to the child care application, instructions for completing the application and additional forms that may be required based on your family’s circumstances.

Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships

Alicia’s Day Care

386 Rowlinson Drive

Shirley, NY 11967

Phone (631) 772-2880

Contact: Alicia Ortiz, DCC Director/Owner


Bay Shore Day Care & Preschool
107 East Main Street
Bay Shore NY 11706
Phone (631) 647-4326
Contact: Sandra Tisnado, DCC Director/Owner


Marks of Excellence Child Care
455 Albany Ave
Amityville, NY 11701
Phone (631) 789-0800
Contact: Alicia Marks, DCC Director/Owner


New Beginnings Day Care
132 Hilltop Drive
Brentwood, NY 11717
Phone (631) 404-0797
Contact: Tracy Harvey, DCC Director/Owner


Story Book Hollow Children's Academy
38 Adirondack Drive
Selden, NY 11784
Phone (631) 698-5900
Contact: Nadine Boudreau, DCC Director/Owner


Long Island Head Start

Central Administration
98 Austin Street, Patchogue, NY 11772
Phone (631) 758-5200
Business Hours Monday-Friday 8:00am-5:00pm

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