Head Start/Early Head Start

The Bureau of Child Development and Head Start Collaboration (the Bureau) envisions that all NH children have the opportunity to thrive in healthy, safe, high quality early learning and afterschool programs that partner with their families to prepare them for life-long success.

Head Start is a program that helps eligible young children between the ages of three and five grow up ready to succeed in school and in life. Programs work to meet high standards for delivering quality services to children and their families. Children who attend Head Start programs participate in fun activities while developing skills in a variety of areas, including social skills. Children in Head Start also receive nutritious meals and the necessary health care in a safe environment.

Early Head Start is a program for families with infants and toddlers ages birth to three. Families who are expecting a new baby may enroll in Early Head Start. Families do not pay a fee for Head Start or Early Head Start.

Parents with children in Head Start participate in all aspects of the program. They help to govern, plan what children learn, and provide advice about needed services. Parents and other community members also volunteer in classrooms and other parts of the programs.

Program options include: center-based, home-based or a combination. Most children in NH Head Start attend 5 days per week for part of the day.

Pregnant women also receive a variety of supports and services. Included are coordination of prenatal and postpartum health care, dental and mental health services and follow up (substance abuse prevention and treatment), prenatal education on fetal development, information on the benefits of breastfeeding, emergency/crisis intervention, and others.

Other services include: “Health education, parenting education, housing assistance, mental health services, emergency/crisis intervention, adult education, job training, child support assistance, child abuse and neglect prevention, domestic violence services, substance abuse prevention or treatment, assistance to families of incarcerated individuals, English as a Second Language (ESL) training and, marriage education” – DHHS Website

Hours of Operation
Monday – Friday
8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Please visit the DHHS website to find a Head Start or Early Head Start program near you.