Welcome to the Florida Head Start Association
Head Start is a national child development program for children from birth to age 5, which provides services to promote academic, social and emotional development for income-eligible families.
Created in 1965, Head Start is the most successful, longest-running, national school readiness program in the United States. Head Start is a child-centered, family focused, comprehensive and community-based program. Head Start provides comprehensive education, health, nutrition, dental, mental health, social services and parent involvement opportunities to low-income children and their families. More than 21 million pre-school aged children have benefited from Head Start.
In order to keep our competitive edge in today’s knowledge-based economy, the next generation must have the skills, knowledge and dispositions to create and sustain new forms of enterprise. Communities where all children enter kindergarten ready to learn are best positioned to thrive in the 21st century. Research shows that 85 percent of brain development occurs before age 3, and growth is particularly affected by the quality of children’s home and educational learning environments. This research has special implications for those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds who are exposed to an estimated 30 million fewer words than their economically advantaged peers (Hart & Risley, 2003). Nobel-laureate economist James J. Heckman (2012) estimated that for “every dollar spent on high quality, birth-to-5 programs for disadvantaged children delivers a 13 percent per annum return on investment over the course of a lifetime.”
PINELLAS COUNTY -- Pinellas County Sheriff’s Deputy Lydia Lang-Royal has built a bond with the kids at the Rainbow Village Head Start Center in Largo. It’s part of Lutheran Services Florida.
“Pete the cat was walking down the street in his brand new white shoes. Pete loved his white shoes,” Lang-Royal reads to the kids.