Head Start and Early Head Start

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Equipping children with the building blocks for lifetime success

Welcome to the Head Start and Early Head Start Program

Building Blocks

Head Start and Early Head Start are federally- and state-funded programs that provides high-quality child care and family support to income-eligible families.

Use the links to the left to learn more about the Head Start program. If you can’t find answers here, call us at (314) 427-4940. We are here to serve you and your family.

About Us

We are the largest Head Start grantee in the St. Louis region.

The mission of YWCA St. Louis Head Start is to equip children with the building blocks for lifetime success. Our vision is that the YWCA Head Start Program will be recognized as an exemplary Early Childhood Education Program. On a national level, the mission of Head Start is to promote school readiness by enhancing the social and cognitive development of children by providing educational, health, nutritional, social and other services to enrolled children and families. Head Start also engages parents in their children’s learning and helps them make progress toward their educational, literacy and employment goals. Funding is provided by the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services/Office of Head Start.

YWCA St. Louis Head Start and Early Head Start Program provides services to more than 1,400 preschool-aged children and more than 200 infants and toddlers, through a network of YWCA Early Childhood Education Centers and child care partner locations throughout St. Louis County and the City of St. Louis.

YWCA Head Start and Early Head Start Centers are managed by on-site managers. Through this approach, decision making is shifted from the central office to the local center. The centers employ well-trained professional staff, place strong emphasis on parental involvement, use researched-based curriculum and serve children with disabilities. The center and case managers control resources locally and are held accountable for the success of their center. Managers, staff and parents share in shaping the environment and quality of care at the center level.

All YWCA Head Start and Early Head Start Centers are licensed by the Missouri Department of Health-Bureau of Child Care Safety and Licensure. The state monitors centers annually for compliance with established state safety and health regulations. Licensure rules are available upon request for review at each center.

In addition, all our centers are accredited by Missouri Accreditation of Programs for Children and Youth.

Find out more about what we offer.