Head Start is a federally funded program that promotes the school readiness of young children from low-income families through local programs. Head Start/Early Head Start programs support the mental, social, and emotional development of children from birth to five.

Eduardo Ochoa, M.D.

Eduardo Ochoa, M.D.

In addition to education services, programs provide children and their families with health, nutrition, social, and other services. The program works to maintain the highest standards of quality in the delivery of strength-based, comprehensive, early intervention, and education services to children and families of low-income.

Since 1998, The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS),  a teaching university, has had the opportunity to administer the Head Start program in Pulaski County, Arkansas. The UAMS Department of Pediatrics became the grantee for the Pulaski County Head Start program in November of that year and today enrolls 888 Head Start and Early Head Start children and families.

UAMS Head Start/Early Head Start provides a comprehensive child and family development program for children six weeks to age five and their families. UAMS Head Start/Early Head Start utilizes evidence based approaches to serving children and families of low-income in a compassionate and partnering manner. Children receive services that promote child development across all domains. From concrete support to meet mental, dental, and physical health needs to developmentally appropriate school readiness promotion; children benefit from warm, nurturing and effective interactions which are based on the leading edge of research and science about brain development. Families participate in a wide variety of family support and strengthening activities. From parent education and leadership to family developmental activities to support each family’s specific goals for their child and their family Head Start services are responsive to each child and family’s ethnic, cultural, and linguistic heritage. The goal of the program is to improve child and family outcomes, including school readiness, by providing a continuum of comprehensive services that support children’s development and family functioning.