YWCA Metro St. Louis

Early Childhood Development & Health Services

Early Childhood Development and Health Services

Healthy Food Choices

Healthy eating habits are essential to being ready to learn!

Seeing, touching, tasting and sharing food helps children develop socially, intellectually, emotionally and physically.  We encourage children to try new and unfamiliar foods, but they are never forced to eat.  Head Start offers many opportunities for exploring and sampling different foods, including foods from different cultures.   

  • Breakfast, lunch and snack are provided at Head Start centers.
  • Children and adults sit together to enjoy their meal family style.
  • Children serve themselves and learn to make decisions as they select the foods they will eat.

Mental Wellness

Our goal is to assist you and your child in finding the best ways to meet your physical, social and emotional needs. Throughout the year, we will share information on positive parenting, emotional wellness, behavior development and developmental delays.  We will also help you find community resources to assist you. 

Other resources on nutrition and mental wellness:

Child and Adult Care Food Program
USDA Food and Nutrition Services
Nutrition and Health | University of Missouri Extension
Missouri Department of Mental Health


Special Needs Assessment 

Head start welcomes children with special needs.  We will work with you and your child’s service providers to see that your child’s needs are met.  Based on your child’s IEP or IFSP, we will tailor our support to your child’s current goals. If you suspect your child may have special needs that are not yet identified, we will help you in the evaluation of your child.  Call 314-427-4940 and ask for the Special Services Administrator.



Support for Expectant Mothers

For pregnant women, we offer special support that addresses family issues of prenatal health, infant development, self-esteem and self-sufficiency, pregnancy concerns, career and preparations for your child's arrival. Call 314-427-4940 and ask for a Prenatal Services Worker.

Health Resources

Head Start can help you connect with area agencies that provide health services for the whole family.  Contact these agencies directly, or ask your Head Start staff for help.

Missouri Department of Social Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
City of St Louis Department of Health
Saint Louis County Department Of Health
Missouri Dept. of Health and Senior Services
MO HealthNet for Kids