Our Vision: "Helping people, changing lives, and making communities a better place to live."

Head Start/Early Head Start
Strengthening children, families, and communities through quality education, comprehensive health and family services, and by fostering community partnerships

What is Head Start and Early Head Start?
What services does Head Start/Early Head Start offer?
How do I enroll my child into the Head Start Program?

Program Locations


Check out a Head Start Aha Moment and hear how the program makes a difference:

Click here for the 2014/2015 Head Start Annual Report:

For the latest Policy Council Minutes -- please click here (Adobe PDF)

For the Head Start/Early Head Start Organizational Chart - please click here (Adobe PDF)

Head Start New hire checklist

History of Head Start

What is Head Start?

Project Head Start, launched initially as an eight-week summer program by the Office of Economic Opportunity in 1965, was designed to help break the cycle of poverty by providing preschool children of low-income families with a comprehensive program to meet their emotional, social, health, nutritional, and psychological needs. Recruiting children age three to school entry age, Head Start was enthusiastically received by education, child development specialists, community leaders, and parents across the nation.

Contact information:
Head Start Central Office
114 East 11th Street, P.O. Box 2288
Kearney, Nebraska 68848
(308) 865-5690 phone
(308)865-5333 fax
Director: Lois Butler, CCAP

What is Early Head Start?

Early Head Start, a program for pregnant women, infants and toddlers, was initiated in response to the changing needs of low-income families and to research indicating how critical the period from birth to age three is to a child's healthy growth and development. In 1994, the Secretary of Health and Human Services formed an Advisory Committee on Services for Families with Infants and Toddlers to design EHS. EHS evolved out of Head Start's long history of providing services to infants and toddlers and family support efforts serving families with very young children. Beginning in 1995, sixty-eight Early Head Start programs were funded to serve more than 5,000 pregnant women and families with children under age three.

Mid has been awarded an Early Head Start grant that will be used to provide services to 48 pregnant women, infants and toddlers in Buffalo County in center based and home based settings. Local impacts on the economy include but are not limited to: employment of 11 regular staff plus substitutes, leave dollars locally for doctors, dentists, optometrists, office supply companies, grocery stores, contractors for the facility renovation, rental income for the facility landlord, utility companies, and other revenues.

Contact Information:

Early Head Start

601 A Central Ave, PO Box 2288

Kearney, NE 68848-2288

Phone: 308-865-5026 Fax: 308-865-5028

Today, Head Start/Early Head Start is administered by the Office of Head Start (OHS), the Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF), Administration for Children and Families (ACF), and the Department of Health and Human Service (DHHS). Grants are awarded by the ACF Regional Offices and the OHS American Indian-Alaska Native and Migrant and Seasonal Program Branches directly to local public agencies, private organizations, Indian Tribes and school systems for the purpose of operating Head Start programs at the community level.

The Head Start/Early Head Start program continues to deliver comprehensive and high quality services designed to foster healthy development in low-income children. Head Start grantee and delegate agencies provide a range of individualized services in the areas of education and early childhood development; medical, dental, and mental health; nutrition; and parent involvement. In addition, the entire range of Head Start services is responsive and appropriate to each child and family's development, ethnic, cultural, and linguistic heritage and experience.

Head Start serves children and their families each year in urban and rural areas in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Territories, including many American Indians and migrant children.

All Head Start/Early Head Start programs must adhere to Program Performance Standards. The Head Start Program Performance Standards define the services that Head Start/Early Head Start programs are to provide to the children and families they serve. They constitute the expectations and requirements that Head Start/Early Head Start grantee must meet. They are designed to ensure that the Head Start/Early Head Start goals and objectives are implemented successfully, that the Head Start/Early Head Start philosophy continue to thrive, and that all grantee and delegate agencies maintain the highest possible quality in the provision of Head Start/Early Head Start services.

Check out these sites for additional information.

National Head Start Association

Head Start Bureau

Region VII Head Start Association

Head Start Success Story

A little girl from Holdrege Head Start had never been to a dentist. Therefore, Holdrege Head Start referred the family. When the little girl was seen by the dentist, she had three teeth that needed treatment. A follow-up was then made, and her teeth were fixed the following week. The same little girl also went for her vision exam. It was determined the little girl needed glasses and she came to school with her new glasses two weeks after her vision exam. The primary language of this family is Spanish. The little girl is picking up a lot of language in our program and is continuously learning new English words that she previously didn't know. She is also in our speech/language enrichment group. We have a partnership with Hability Solution Services, who comes to our program to help children learn more language skills in a small group session. It is designed to help children who have lower speech/language scores, but who do not qualify for services Head Start has been very beneficial in the lives of this family.