Head Start and Early Head Start

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Welcome to YWCA Metro St. Louis’
Award-Winning Early Education Program

Head Start/Early Head Start


Head Start and Early Head Start are federally- and state-funded programs that provide high-quality education, childcare, and family support services to income-eligible families.

For information about enrolling your child in our program, call 314-427-4940.

For information about enrolling in our Prenatal Service Program, call the Overland Prenatal Service Center: 314-441-9613 or the Bessie T. Draper Early Head Start Center: 314-304-8076.

Head Start is about FUN, FAMILY, making FRIENDS and LEARNING THROUGH PLAY!

YWCA’s Early Education Program is an exemplary Early Childhood Education program, and was recently recognized by the National Head Start Association as a National Program of Excellence. We are the only program in the state (and one of only 13 in the country) to receive this five-year accreditation!

YWCA is the largest provider of Head Start services in the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County. We serve more than 1,000 preschool-aged children and more than 200 infants and toddlers at nine YWCA Early Childhood Education Centers and 12 Child Care Partner Centers.

All YWCA locations are licensed by the Missouri Department of Health-Bureau of Child Care Safety and Licensure and accredited by Missouri Accreditation of Programs for Children and Youth.

Program of Excellence Award
YWCA Metro St. Louis is the only Head Start program in the state of Missouri and one of only 13 programs in the United States to receive the National Program of Excellence accreditation from the National Head Start Association. The accreditation acknowledges effective and efficient management; transparent and sound fiscal stewardship; informed, responsible, and responsive program governance; genuine partnering with and involvement of parents in all aspects of the program; highly experienced and educated staff; state-of-the-art programming; and quality services that reflect and respond to the aspirations and needs of children and families.

Programs of Excellence continuously strive to improve their performance; build on and exceed goals and achievements; recognize, reward, support, and celebrate staff; and meet children, families, and communities with tailored programming and services.

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