Head Start Preschool (Ages 3-5)

Head Start preschool
Head Start Preschool



Half-Day program available at: Centerburg | Danville | Fredericktown | New Hope Early Education | Northgate
Full-day program available at: Fredericktown | Gambier | New Hope Early Education



Head Start offers compressive, federally funded, community-based preschool in half-day school year programs (four days a week, September through May); in full-day, full-year classrooms; and in home-based services. We prepare children for kindergarten while providing nutritious meals and educational and social-emotional development by focusing on health, mental health, dental supports, and family services.



By providing family-style meals and comfortable couches, chairs, and mats for sitting, our warm setting allows children to feel confident, safe, and at home. In this secure and engaging environment, they can begin to master the skills necessary for learning in kindergarten.



We believe that children learn best through playing with materials that actively engage them. Through hands-on activities and opportunities to explore, both indoors and out, children will better understand their bodies, their environment, and their role in it.



Daily activities are varied and concerned with the whole child–how he/she feels and gets along with others and his/her need to move and explore. There is a balance of active and quiet play with both indoor and outdoor activities. Based on developmental stage, each child is given the chance to participate in age-appropriate activities such as block building, science, math, music, story time, language activities, reading and literacy, writing, dramatic play, art, outdoor play, and motor skills development.



Ages 3-5 years

  • Children must be 3 by August 1 (children turning 3 after August 1 may enroll anytime after their 3rd birthday) but must not yet be 5
  • Available at all 6 centers in Knox County
  • Half-day, Tuesday through Friday (subject to change)
  • Operates throughout the school year, September through May
  • Nutritious breakfasts, lunches, and snacks
  • Family advocacy services
  • Health and developmental screenings and referrals
  • Kindergarten transition planning

Half-Day Preschool

The  half-day Head Start preschool program provides Head Start services at five centers throughout Knox County. Children who are 3 by August 1 and not yet 5 years old may register to attend one of the centers. The first day of school is typically (but not always) the Wednesday following Labor Day each year. The last day of school is typically around the middle of May. Nutritious meals are provided to children, funded in part through the US Department of Agriculture’s Child and Adult Food Program.



Income eligibility guidelines are required for all Early Head Start and Head Start programs. Homeless families, IEP and foster children are eligible regardless of household income. Families receiving OWF assistance and Social Security Disability are eligible regardless of other household income. Children with special needs, Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), and Individualized Family Service Plans (IFSPs) are given priority for enrollment whenever possible.



When enrollment is full at one center, the Agency will work with the family to identify any possible program option at one of the other centers that may work for the child.


 Home-Based Option

A home-based option is available also, wherein the teacher will come to the home once a week and spend time with the child and the caregiver. The child and the caregiver are encouraged to attend scheduled socialization at the center wherein the child will attend the classroom and the parent will have an opportunity to network with other parents and attend trainings that are offered during the socialization. A nutritious meal and snack are provided on socialization days.



The home-based option may work well for young 3-year-olds and will prepare them to transition into the classroom at a center. The children and their families will receive the same family advocacy and health services as provided to the center-based programming.