History of Head Start
Head Start began under the auspices of the Office of Economic Opportunity. Since it was established in the summer of 1965, Head Start has been the primary source for providing a comprehensive, holistic program of education, family support services; special needs, mental health, health, nutrition, and parent involvement to low-income families of the Greater Lawrence area. Funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the program also receives funds through the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Massachusetts Department of Education (DOE), Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) and In-kind Donations; and through the private sector.
The Mission of Head Start
The Mission of the Head Start Program is to be at the core of a network of community agencies that provide comprehensive, high-quality, child and family development services to low-income, high need, high risk residents of Lawrence, Methuen, Andover and North Andover. Using a case management approach, Head Start will provide individualized services that include parent education, training and counseling, as well as developmental services to children from 15 months through age five.
Head Start’s educational philosophy holds that children learn best in a caring, nurturing environment in which they are able to explore freely and securely; an environment rich in all areas of child developmental domains that assure school readiness.
The premise of the program is that the family is recognized as the principal influence in the child’s development and we believe that in order to succeed, the child’s entire family must be involved. The goal of the Head Start program is to support parents as they identify and meet their own goals, nurture the development of their children in the context of their family and culture, and advocate for communities that are supportive of children and families from all cultures. Through close collaborations with community agencies, the program has created multi-service facilities that will strengthen families by fostering self-sufficiency, problem-solving skills, and a spirit of life-long learning.
The Head Start Program is committed to employing and developing highly skilled-team oriented staff, which is representative of the various cultures and ethnic backgrounds of our diverse client population. By combining the efforts of team members, Head Start is able to provide the best possible services to the child and their family.