Head Start Program

Head Start programs prepare America’s most vulnerable young children to succeed in school and in life beyond school. To achieve this, Head Start programs deliver services to children and families in core areas of early learning, health, and family well-being while engaging parents as partners every step of the way. Head Start achieves this through an emphasis in early childhood development education, family and community partnerships, and health services.

Early Childhood Development and Education

A key tenet of early childhood development and education is to provide all children with a safe, nurturing, engaging, enjoyable, and secure learning environment, in order to help them gain the awareness, skills, and confidence necessary to succeed in their present environment and to deal with later responsibilities in school and in life. Each child is treated as an individual in an inclusive community that values, respects, and responds to diversity. The varied experiences provided by the Head Start program support the full continuum of children’s growth and development, from physical to social, emotional to cognitive.

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Family and Community Partnerships

Head Start offers parents opportunities and the support necessary for their own personal growth, so that they can identify their strengths, needs and interests, find solutions to problems they face, and nurture the development of their children within the context of their family and culture. The building of trusting, collaborative relationships between parents and Head Start staff allows them to share with and learn from one another.

Head Start serves families within the context of the community and recognizes that many other agencies and groups work with the same families. The objective of our community partnerships is to ensure that agencies collaborate with their partners in the community in order to provide the highest level of service to children and families, foster the development of a continuum of family-centered services, and advocate for a community that shares the responsibility for the healthy development of children and families of all cultures.

Comprehensive Health Services

Head Start is committed to a philosophy of wellness that embraces a comprehensive vision of healthy children, families, and staff. The objective of Head Start’s child health and development services is to ensure that, through collaboration among families, staff, and health professionals, children’s health and developmental concerns are identified, and children and families are linked to an ongoing source of continuous, accessible care to meet their basic health needs. Head Start promotes and provides the following:

Healthy nutrition and physical activity: Head Start is actively involved in the nation’s efforts to decrease the rate of children classified as overweight or obese. Through activities that promote nutrition and physical activity, Head Start programs make a huge impact on the healthy development of children and families.

Developmental and behavioral services: Head Start programs promote the lifelong health of children and adults in their communities. The programs help families find medical homes, stay current on all of their health needs, and receive the appropriate mental health services.

Child safety and injury prevention: Identifying risks and preventing injury are fundamental to Head Start’s mission. Programs strive to create safe and secure places for children to learn.

Health literacy: Working with families and staff to build their health skills and knowledge is a core part of the work of each Head Start program. When adults understand and model strong health practices, children are more likely to embrace them as well.

Oral health: Head Start recognizes the critical nature of oral health for children’s optimal development. Each program works with families and local oral health professionals to ensure that all children have dental homes that offer regular care and follow-up treatment.

Healthy environments: The children and families served by Head Start programs may be more likely to live in places where they are exposed to smoking and other air pollutants and toxins. It is important that staff support families in building healthy environments.

Head Start Locations

Area Head Start Program Location Physical Address
Auburndale Auburndale Central Elementary 320 Lemon Street, Auburndale, FL 33823
Bartow Gibbons Street Elementary 1860 E. Gibbons Street, Bartow, FL 33830
Fort Meade Lewis Elementary 115 S Oak Avenue, Fort Meade, FL 33841
Frostproof Frostproof Ben Hill Griffin Jr. 501 McLeod Road Frostproof, FL 33843
Lake Wales Spook Hill Elementary 321 Dr. J. A. Wiltshire Ave E, Lake Wales, FL 33853
Lakeland (Central) Crystal Lake Elementary 700 Galvin Drive, Lakeland, FL 33801
Lakeland (Central) Jesse Keen Elementary 815 Plateau Avenue, Lakeland, FL 33815
Lakeland (Central) Oscar J. Pope Elementary 2730 Maine Avenue, Lakeland, FL 33801
Lakeland (North) Sleepy Hill Elementary 2285 Sleepy Hill Road, Lakeland, FL 33810
Lakeland (North) Socrum Elementary 9400 Old Dade City Road, Lakeland, FL 33809
South Lakeland/Mulberry Medulla Elementary 850 Schoolhouse Road, Lakeland, FL 33813
South Lakeland/Mulberry Willow Oak 4815 Bailey Road, Mulberry, FL 33860
Northeast Polk County Bethune Academy 900 Avenue F, Haines City, FL 33844
Northeast Polk County Davenport Elementary 8 Palmetto Street West, Davenport, FL 33837
Northeast Polk County Eastside Elementary 1820 E. Johnson Avenue, Haines City, FL 33844
Northeast Polk County Laurel Elementary 1851 Laurel Avenue, Poinciana, FL 34759
Northeast Polk County Sandhill Elementary 1801 Tyner Road, Haines City, FL 33844
Winter Haven Eagle Lake Elementary 400 Crystal Beach Road SW, Eagle Lake, FL 33839
Winter Haven Elbert Elementary 205 15th St NE, Winter Haven, FL 33881
Winter Haven Garner Elementary 2500 Havendale Blvd NW, Winter Haven, FL 33881
Winter Haven Inwood Elementary 2200 Avenue G NW, Winter Haven, FL 33880
Winter Haven Snively Elementary 1004 Snively Avenue, Eloise, FL 33884
Winter Haven Wahneta Elementary 205 4th Wahneta Street E, Winter Haven, FL 33880

For address information regarding each school, visit our School Listings page.

Head Start Grant - End of Year Reports

The Head Start annual report is available upon request. Please contact Todd Myrick to request a copy.