Head Start is a federally funded program that began in 1965 and is based on the premise that all children share certain needs and can benefit from a comprehensive developmental program designed to meet those needs. UAMS Head Start/Early Head Start administers the federal Head Start grant in Pulaski County, providing full day EHS center-based services to infants and toddlers and full day Head Start center-based services to three and four-year old children and their families.


Children from low-income households or on public assistance, as well as those in foster care or experiencing homelessness are given priority for enrollment. Head Start supports children’s growth and development in a positive learning environment through a variety of services, including:

Early Childhood Education and School Readiness

 Children’s readiness for school and beyond is fostered through individualized learning experiences. Through relationships with adults, play, and planned and spontaneous instruction, children grow in many aspects of development. Children progress in gaining social skills and emotional well-being, along with language/literacy learning, and concept development.

Mental Health and Disabilities

Children with challenging behaviors, trauma or special needs are welcomed in Head Start.  We work with each family to help them obtain services for their child and we make accommodations in the classrooms for all children to be successful.

Health and Nutrition

Each child’s perceptual, motor, and physical development is supported to permit them to fully explore and function in their environment. Children receive health and development screenings, nutritious meals, oral health, and mental health support. Programs connect families with medical, dental, and mental health services to ensure that children are receiving the services they need.

Family and Community Engagement

Parents and families are supported in achieving their own goals, such as housing stability, continued education, and financial security. Programs support and strengthen parent-child relationships and engage families around children’s learning and development.