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About the Office of Head Start

The Head Start and Early Head Start programs are administered by the Office of Head Start, within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The Office of Head Start (OHS) administers grant funding and oversight to the 1,600 public and private nonprofit and for-profit agencies that provide Head Start services in local communities. Head Start and Early Head Start grantees provide services to over a million children every year, in every U.S. state and territory, in farm worker camps, and in over 155 tribal communities.

OHS provides federal policy direction, ongoing oversight, and a training and technical assistance (T/TA) system to assist grantees in providing comprehensive services to eligible young children and their families.

The Office of Head Start was appropriated $10.6 billion for fiscal year (FY) 2020.  In FY 2019, $10 billion was awarded for programs under the Head Start Act. Of that amount, $9.66 billion was awarded directly to public agencies, private nonprofit and for-profit organizations, tribal governments, and school systems to operate Head Start programs in local communities. To improve the quality of services provided by grantees, more than $239 million was directed to training and technical assistance. Half that amount was awarded directly to grantees to be used for local T/TA, and the other half funded the regional and national system. More details about OHS funding and the services provided through this funding are in the FY 2019 Program Facts Sheet.

Specialist Providing T/TA

Technical Assistance

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Female Federal Monitors

Grantee Profiles and Reports

Deborah Bergeron, Director of the Office of Head Start


Head Start History Picture

History of Head Start

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OHS Organization

OHS has 12 Regional Offices that support the administration of grants, oversight, and T/TA to Head Start grantees. These offices are located in:

  • Boston, MA
  • New York, NY
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Kansas City, MO
  • Dallas, TX
  • Denver, CO
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Seattle, WA

The Regional Offices for American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) and Migrant and Seasonal Head Start (MSHS) programs are located in Washington, DC .

Last Reviewed: June 23, 2020