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Early Head Start and Head Start are nationally funded early childhood education programs that focus on healthy child development and promoting school readiness. Head Start and Early Head Start provide center-based services in the counties of Henderson, Polk and Transylvania for pregnant mothers and children ages birth to five. These programs support and encourage the whole family by recognizing that parents are their children’s primary teacher and offering multiple family engagement opportunities throughout the school year. Each child in the program is assigned a Family Advocate to help support the family throughout the school year as well. 

Several of the centers utilize wrap-around services that lengthen the classroom day and months of the year if needed. These services provide childcare for parents of children who are working or in job related training. Parents pay for wrap-around fees based on a sliding fee scale.


Home-Based services bring the classroom into the home. During a weekly 90 minute visit the family and home visitor focus on learning through play and kindergarten readiness. The home visitor guides and models activities, so that the parent can become the teacher. Each week, children participate in weekly lesson plans designed to help them reach their developmental milestones and learn new skills. Siblings and other family members are encouraged to join in with the fun! Biweekly socialization events allow families the opportunity to make friends, become more knowledgeable about community resources, and receive parenting tips. This program allows families to discover and nurture their child’s individual learning style, learn new parenting skills, and engage in family-building activities.


The NC Pre-K program helps provide high-quality early childhood education to enhance school readiness. NC Pre-K prepares children for kindergarten through large and small group experiences, center time, music, movement, literacy activities, and opportunities for social emotional development. These services operate on the same schedule as the public school system.


Head Start children in both center and home-base programs receive comprehensive services of education, social service, parent involvement, nutrition and health. Parents are involved in all facets of the program, including but not limited to volunteering in the classroom, serving on parent committees, or being a parent representative on the Policy Council. The Policy Council is made up of community members and parent representatives who help share in the decision making for our local Early Head Start and Head Start programs.


Upon enrolling in one of these programs at WCCA, there is a team ready and excited to work with each family. Part of this team includes teachers, Family Advocates, a Health/Nutrition Coordinator, a Disabilities Specialist, Mental Health Specialist, Behavioral Specialist, and Enrollment Specialist. This team will help support each family throughout their time at WCCA.


Anyone interested in enrolling their child(ren) in one of the Head Start, Early Head Start, NC Pre-K, or Home-Based programs is encouraged to apply. Applications for these programs are available online at our website under forms and applications. After completing the application, an enrollment specialist will call the family to determine if the family is income eligible for the program. If completing the application online is not an option, parents may call our enrollment specialist for assistance at (828) 693-1711.

FUNDING SOURCE: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services State of North Carolina