YWCA Metro St. Louis

What We Offer

Head Start offers:

  • A safe, nurturing environment
  • Nutritious meals and snacks
  • Kindergarten readiness skills
  • Research-based curriculum
  • State-licensed and NAEYC-accredited centers
  • Teachers with an associate or bachelor’s degree
  • Opportunities for parents to be involved in their child’s education

Head Start is for children three to five years old. Our unique approach is focused on kindergarten readiness and promotes children's progress in all developmental areas. There are two attendance options:

  • Full Working-Day: Monday - Friday, 7:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
  • Half Day: Monday - Thursday, 8:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
  • Limited transportation available for half-day services only.

Early Head Start is for pregnant women, infants, and toddlers up to age three. We provide children with a caring environment that will start them on the path to a lifetime of learning.

  • Monday - Friday, 7:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

We have more than 20 locations. To find one near you, go to Find A Center.

How are Head Start and Early Head Start programs different than traditional child care?

Early Childhood Development and Health Services

Preparing children to enter kindergarten ready to learn and to be successful later in life is Head Start’s most important function. The program focuses on preparing children cognitively, physically, socially and emotionally. Guided by a research-based curriculum, children participate in a variety of activities, including field trips, science, math and reading-readiness experiences. Parents are included in all aspects of the child’s growth and development. Learn more.

Family Partnerships

Once a child is enrolled in Head Start, staff and parents become partners in supporting the child’s development – and that includes building stronger families. Parents are offered opportunities to enter into formal partnership agreements and gain support from staff in meeting their own goals, such as obtaining a GED, attending college, improving housing, managing family finances, and sustaining healthy relationships. Learn more.

Community Partnerships

Families who enroll their children in Head Start are typically low income and in need of many resources to meet their families’ needs. Through both formal and informal agreements, Head Start partners with other community agencies to support families in areas such as utility assistance, housing, child support enforcement, clothing, school districts and transportation. These Head Start partnerships serve as a link between parents and other community agencies to provide a broad range of support for a healthy family environment. Learn more.

Program Governance

No aspect of a parent’s life is as important as sharing in decisions that affect their child’s life. The Head Start program offers many opportunities for parents to participate in decisions regarding the operation of the Head Start program. Parents are involved in approving staff to work with them and their children, approving how Head Start dollars are used to support the program, and deciding what opportunities are offered and supported by staff and parents. The role of parents in guiding the Head Start program is truly unique. Learn more.