Providing educational, emotional,
and social support for children and families in every Tennessee county.

Head Start is built upon the understanding that the development of young children is deeply influenced by the family, by their community, by their health, as well as the educational experiences to which they are exposed. The 1975 Head Start Program Performance Standards defined high quality services in early childhood education, parent involvement, social services, and health. These standards have been the foundation of Head Start, and they have served as a model for state and local early childhood initiatives, including the state of Tennessee's pre-K program.

This knowledge of the foundations of early childhood development is based on research on the long-term benefits from similar comprehensive progams, such as High Scope, the Abecedarian Project, and the Chicago Parent Study. In 1996, the original Performance standards were strengthened to incorporate new research and higher expectations of program performance and management. 

A Model for the Nation
Head Start's Foundation

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