What is Head Start?

Head Start is a federal program which provides free, comprehensive developmental services for America’s low-income, pre-school children aged three to five, and social services for their families. Specific services for children focus on education, socio-emotional development, physical and mental health, and nutrition. Skagit/Islands Head Start provides a safe, healthy, nurturing environment so that each family, child, and staff member may reach their potential within the community.

Early Head Start is a prenatal to three-year-old program focusing on relationship development between parent and child. Services are offered through home visits, classroom experiences, and parent child socialization groups.

Preschool Head Start is a center-based program for three- to five-year-old children providing learning opportunities leading to higher levels of school readiness.

The cornerstone of these programs is parent and community engagement, which has made it one of the most successful pre-school programs in the country.

Our classrooms run for nine months, with a 3½ hour classroom, open Mondays through Thursdays. Services include developmental and health screenings, nutritional snacks and meals, educational experiences, and support and referrals for families working to establish and reach their goals. Our classrooms are developmentally appropriate, based on the needs of the children enrolled and the goals set for them by Head Start and their parents.

Our teacher/child ratio is 1:8 or less if possible. Each classroom of 18 children is supported by a Center Manager or Teacher, an Assistant Teacher, and a classroom Aide.

Parent involvement is very important to us. Parents participate in various ways including regularly scheduled home visits, parent/family activities, and volunteering, either in the classroom or on parent decision-making committees.

Skagit/Islands Head Start serves 445 children and families in Skagit, Island, and San Juan Counties of beautiful Washington State.

  • 348 children are enrolled in our 10 Head Start centers. These half-day preschool classrooms meet four days a week.
  • The remaining 97 are pregnant women and birth-to-three-year-old children that form our Early Head Start program. These services are provided through either a home-based or combination model.