About the Office of Head Start

What We Do

The Office of Head Start (OHS) administers grant funding and oversight to the agencies that provide Head Start services. OHS also provides federal policy direction and a training and technical assistance (T/TA) system to assist grantees in providing comprehensive services to eligible young children and their families.


Leadership

The Acting Director of Head Start is Ann Linehan. She has held senior management positions with OHS for 15 years and has served as the deputy director since 2011.


Head Start Services

Head Start promotes the school readiness of young children from low-income families through agencies in their local community. Head Start and Early Head Start programs support the mental, social, and emotional development of children from birth to age 5. In addition to education services, programs provide children and their families with health, nutrition, social, and other services. Head Start services are responsive to each child and family's ethnic, cultural, and linguistic heritage.


History of Head Start

Head Start was founded as part of Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty in 1965. Since then, Head Start has grown from an eight-week demonstration project to include full day/year services and numerous program options. Head Start has served over 30 million children and their families in urban and rural areas in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. territories.