Early Head Start

Service Area and Program Options

The Early Head Start (EHS)/Pregnant Mom’s Programs were introduced to EEC Head Start in 1998. At its inception, the program served 80 children in home-based and Pregnant Mom’s┬áprograms. In 2001, the first center-based program was opened to serve 48 additional children.

Currently, EHS serves two counties in Northwest Florida. EHS operates full-day, full-year programs.

What Is Early Head Start?

  • Provides services to income eligible, pregnant women and children ages 0-3 years
  • Encourages prenatal care in pregnant women
  • Child Development Program seeking to enhance the development of infants and toddlers through
  • Proactive approach to promotion of healthy child development and family functioning
  • Supports high level of parent involvement and partnership
  • Inclusive program available for children with disabilities
  • Believes that families can identify their own strengths and needs, set their own goals, and are capable of growth
  • Partners with many community agencies to provide the best available resources to families

Home Based Head Start

The Home-Based and Pregnant Mom’s Programs provide comprehensive Head Start services to pregnant women, children, ages 0-3 years, and their families. Through the home-based option, families receive the same services as those participating in center-based programs. While the center-based Head Start option focuses on the child in a classroom setting, the home-based option focuses on the family and the child in a home setting. Our staff, called “Family Advocates”, have an opportunity to work with individuals within a family context and in the home environment. They help parents provide the developmental activities and support services that Head Start children receive in the center-based option.

The Home-Based Program provides comprehensive services in education/child development, medical and dental health, nutrition, mental health, social services and parent involvement. Because the parent is considered a primary factor in the growth and development of their child, the Home-Based Family Advocates work intensively with the child’s parents and other family members.

Home-based/Pregnant Mom’s┬ávisits consist of the following components:

  • Visits are conducted with the parents, not with babysitters or temporary caregivers.
  • Visits help parents enhance their parenting skills and assist them in the use of their home as their child’s primary learning environment.
  • Visits focus on helping parents learn how to provide learning opportunities that further their child’s growth and development.
  • The content of the visit is jointly planned by the parent and the home visitor.
  • If you would like to support our Head Start Programs, please click here.
  • Visits are conducted with the pregnant mom to support fetal development and provide emotional support throughout pregnancy and postpartum period.

Click here to find an EEC Head Start center in your area.

Head Start Additional Resources

Administration for Children and Families
Florida Head Start Association
Region IV Head Start Association
Bay County CHIP Alignment Plan