This Office of Preschool Services administers the Head Start program on all three islands. The Head Start program is the largest and most comprehensive early childhood education program in the territory serving over 78% of the total number of low income three and four year olds. There are currently over 800 students enrolled in the program.
Head Start is recognized nationwide as the primary empowerment program for low-income parents, involving them in all aspects of service delivery and decision making for the program. The program provides comprehensive medical/dental screening and follow-up, nutrition, education, mental health, and social services. Its goal is to prepare children from low-income families for school readiness.
Parents who are interested in enrolling a child are encouraged to visit the main offices at Anna's Hope on St. Croix (ph 773-1972) or the Knud Hansen Complex on St. Thomas (ph 774-5370). Children must be three years old by December 31st. Parents must bring the child's birth certificate, social security number, and proof of income that shows that shows the family meets the federal guideline for income eligibility. Those adults who are guardians must provide evidence of guardianship such as a court order.
Parents of children with disabilities are especially encouraged to apply for enrollment. The program has a partnership with the local department of education, special education division, which provides services to children with disabilities.