Give Your Child
an Early Head Start

A parent is a child’s first and most important teacher. By partnering with Early Head Start during the first three years of a child’s life parents and caregivers can nurture a child’s development and create stronger family bonds. Early Head Start encourages the growth and development of infants and toddlers through a strong foundation of social-emotional competence for lifelong learning.

Early Head Start is available to pregnant mothers, infants, and toddlers until age 3. Our Early Head Start program provides comprehensive early childhood education to income-eligible children and their families, from birth to age 3, at no cost to families. EHS combines parent involvement, education, health and social-emotional wellness services (including for women before, during, and after pregnancy), and services to children with disabilities. Our program emphasizes the role of parents as their child’s first and most important teacher and enriches the lives of children and their families by working with each family’s individual needs.


  1. Center-Based Services

    In partnership with Excel Learning Centers in Jacksonville, Richlands, and Swansboro, our center-based services are available to children from 6 weeks to 3-years-old. Children are in a classroom setting Monday through Friday. A primary teacher is assigned to no more than four children and classrooms are limited to eight or nine children. Through planned learning, activities, and play, children are better prepared to enter kindergarten with increased social-emotional skills.

  2. Home-Based Services

    Our home-based program is available to expectant (pregnant) women and their families to provide information about healthy pregnancies, developmental milestones, and the importance of early care and education while strengthening the five protective factors for families. Enrolled families receive one 90-minute visit each month using the Partners for a Healthy Baby curriculum. Topics include prenatal health and healthy birth outcomes, bonding and attachment, infant mental health, family stability, and economic self-sufficiency.

how to



Apply to early head start

Families that submit their online applications and supporting documentation will receive follow-up email communication for next steps from our staff. BE SURE TO INCLUDE CORRECT EMAIL AND TELEPHONE CONTACT INFORMATION on your application.
For assistance, contact Caron Schienle at