Child Development Services - Head Start & Early Head Start Skip to main content

Child Development

Applications are now being accepted for both Early Head Start and Head Start.  Both of these programs are wonderful beginnings for children emotionally, socially, and academically. Early Head Start & Head Start contribute to the full development of a child’s potential achievement in future school years and to continued success throughout a child’s life.

Call 315-624-9930 for Registration and Eligibility Information!

Head Start

Helps to create healthy development in low-income children ages three to five. Programs offer a wide variety of services, that depend on a child's and each family's heritage and experience, to influence all aspects of a child's development and learning. 

  • Available to Oneida, Herkimer, and Madison County residents
  • Serves families with children between the ages of 3 and 5
  • Federally funded, comprehensive preschool developmental program
  • Free & confidential
  • Offers training and job opportunities for Head Start parents
  • Provides services to children with special needs

Early Head Start

Promotes healthy prenatal outcomes, promotes healthy family functioning, and strengthens the development of infants and toddlers beginning as young as newborn infants. 

  • Available in Oneida and Herkimer Counties
  • Serves pregnant women and families with infants and toddlers from birth to age 3
  • Free & confidential
  • Offers training and job opportunities for Head Start parents
  • Provides services to children with special needs


Support for Pregnant Mothers and Newborns

Prenatal services set the stage for children’s healthy development. Early experiences, supported by loving adults, are essential to the brain developing the healthy connections needed for learning.

Through this home-based program option, Early Head Start works closely with pregnant women to secure comprehensive prenatal and postpartum care.  With each expectant woman enrolled in EHS, we collaboratively develop a plan to ensure that she receives risk assessments, including a nutritional screening; medical and dental examinations; and mental health interventions as needed or required in anticipation of the child’s birth (as well as subsequent to childbirth).  The Family Partnership Agreement provides the framework for staff; pregnant women and their families to jointly determine individual needs and interests. This agreement is also used to develop a labor and delivery plan in anticipation of childbirth, as well as the transition plan after the child is born.  Transitioning newborns from the pre-natal program to our Early Head Start program is a critical component in the continuum of care.

The Family Partnership Agreement is also used as the collaborative process to develop a plan of program services that is driven by parents’ identification of family strengths, needs, resources, and goals. The Family Partnership Agreement process occurs as early as possible so that the specific needs of each pregnant woman and her family can be determined, the goals set, and the services planned. Whenever possible the father is included as full participant in the EHS services to pregnant women, as well as following the birth of their baby. The Prenatal Home Visitor, or Health Manager, provide educational resources to expectant mothers on a series of topics, which they then use to plan, including:

  • Fetal development (including the risks of smoking and alcohol)
  • Labor and delivery
  • Postpartum recovery (and the potential for postpartum depression)
  • Importance of Secure Attachment
  • Breastfeeding
  • Community resources relevant to pregnant mothers.
  • Within two weeks of the infant’s birth, the Prenatal Home Visitor or Health Manager conducts a home visit to ensure the well-being of both the mother and the child, as required by the Head Start Program Performance Standards.  During this visit, the mother’s needs and the child’s optimal development are discussed and begins the process of fostering the child’s development through the Partners for a Healthy Baby.


  • You live in Oneida or Herkimer County for Early Head Start,
  • You live in Oneida, Herkimer or Madison County for Head Start
  • You are expecting a child, or
  • You have a child age 5 or younger
  • Your family income meets Federal Guidelines

6 Building Blocks of Success

  • School Readiness in the classroom and in the home
  • Family and Community Partnership
  • Health
  • Nutrition
  • Special Services
  • Parent Involvement


Our Locations


Read what one Mother had to say about her experience: 

Head Start and Early Head Start are programs of the United States Department of Health and Human Services

Call 315-624-9930 for Registration and Eligibility Information!

Registration is easy!

No cost (based on income eligibility).

Home-based or center-based programs(available in BOTH Herkimer & Oneida Counties!)

Training and job opportunities available for parents - at all sites and classrooms.

9882 River Road, Utica, NY 13502 Phone: (315) 624-9930 DonateDonate