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Head Start

What is Head Start?

Head Start is a federal program for preschool children from low-income families operated by a non-profit agency. Children who attend Head Start participate in a variety of educational activities. They have healthy meals, snacks, and enjoy playing indoors and outdoors in a safe setting. Head Start helps children succeed. Services are offered to meet the special needs of children with disabilities. Children in Head Start are between the ages of three and five years of age. The child must be 3 years old on or before August 31st of the current year to be eligible for Head Start. Head Start provides two healthy meals a day and an afternoon snack daily.

Head Start Objectives

Children learn best when their environment meets their physical, social, cognitive, and emotional needs. The program believes that services that children receive during their early years set the stage for their cognitive development throughout their lives. NEED, Inc. Head Start: uses a holistic (incorporating or identifying with the principles of psychology) approach in meeting the needs of its children provides a conducive and nurturing environment, which includes culturally diverse services that will bring about a greater degree of social competence. A variety of services will be provided to the families and children. Each service will be geared toward providing and linking families to resources promoting self-sufficiency.

Family Engagement and Community Partnership

Head Start provide the families with a variety of engagement opportunities such as: parent meetings and orientation, parent training, family engagement and male involvement opportunities, volunteer experiences, family literacy and connection to community resources. Leadership opportunities and encouragement to assist in planning and program design is important in increasing skills in areas of possible employment. Our goal in Head Start is to offer families: Information and referrals to assist the family Supportive home visits Establishment of personal family goals and the support to achieve it Information on stress management Help in finding employment and training opportunities Answer questions and inform parents about Head Start, NC Pre-K or other educational opportunities Inform and engage parents in family literacy activities.

Children with Special Needs/Exceptionalities

Children with exceptionalities are inclusive in Head Start services and activities. A minimum of 10% of the funded enrollment opportunities is available to children with identified special needs. When you make an appointment, you will need to bring the following information with you to the interview: Your child’s birth certificate Income verification (for the past 12 months), Your child’s immunization records IEP and/or CDSA Evaluation (Head Start Child), Proof of Medical Insurance, Marriage Certificate, Divorce/Separation Documents, Adoption (Custody or Foster Care), Most recent Physical and Dental, and Picture ID

Health and Nutrition

Head Start provides a broad range of medical, dental, disability and nutrition services to Head Start children and families. Children at Head Start eat a nutritious and balanced diet to help them grow and develop normally. Our program is developed to help children learn good eating habits and have a positive attitude towards food. A healthy diet plays a vital role in improving the quality of life for all children. Those enrolled in the Head Start program receive delicious, nutritious meals, including breakfast, lunch and a snack each day for free. This food service program is funded by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) and is administered locally by NEED as an important part of the Head Start program. Food selections and servings are designed to provide two-thirds of the daily nutritional requirements for children. The program encourages children to develop healthy eating habits and also introduces them to new foods they may never have tried. Healthy snacks are offered in fun, imaginative ways and sweets are generally avoided in favor of more nutritious snacks. Parents are requested not to send candy or other sugary treats to class.

As a recipient of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) our agency is committed to the values and statues stated in our Nondiscrimination Statement as linked below:


Head Start provides services to low income families to prepare children ages 3-5 years for school readiness and engage parents in the process of nurturing and educating their children. School readiness is the measure of overall preparation of the family for public school and how prepared a child is to succeed in school, cognitively, socially, and emotionally. Children’s early experiences and environments set the stage for future development and success in school and life. A child’s readiness for school is measured and addressed across distinct but connected developmental domains including: physical well-being and motor development, approaches to learning, language development, and cognition and general knowledge. While separate and distinct, these domains interact and reinforce each other. Head Start supports children in all stages of development.

Enrollment Information

If interested in enrolling your child in the NEED, Inc. Head Start program, please call and make an enrollment appointment or click the Apply Online button below.

Nash County (252) 442-5261 or (252) 442-4735 or (252) 446-0214 or (252) 442-8081

Nash County – Old Carriage Road Head Start (252) 937-4236 or (252) 443-1423

Edgecombe County (252) 641-1117 or (252) 641-1118

Wilson County (252) 237-0551 or (252) 237-9161 or (252) 237-7635

For Non-English Speaking PLEASE CALL (252) 442-8081 ext 257

Head Start Director: Nichelle Cole Email:

Hours of Operation:

Monday – Thursday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Friday 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.