• early-head-start-banner

Early Head Start

EHS BlocksEarly Head Start programs provide early, continuous, and comprehensive child development and family support services on a year-round basis to eligible families in Strafford County, NH. The purpose of the Early Head Start program is to enhance your child's physical, social, emotional, and intellectual development; and to support parents' efforts as their child's first teacher.

Early Head Start is a program for families with children under the age of three and pregnant women. The program objectives are accomplished through home-based services that include appropriate infant-toddler activities, comprehensive health care, nutrition, education, and social services for young children and their families.


Early Head Start is mandated by the federal government to serve the neediest families first. We give priority to families that have incomes below the federal poverty guidelines; those receiving Temporary Assistance to Needy Families or Social Security Insurance; are homeless or foster children.

In order to complete an application, you must provide income verification for either the last 12 months or the last tax year. You must also have age verification for your child, and we accept any government issued verification. To learn more about Early Head Start and how to apply, contact 603-652-0990.


Employment release

Unemployment release

Zero income verification


Early Head Start services are offered in the home only. For families wishing to receive Early Head Start services, qualified Home Visitors may provide services for children residing in: Barrington, Dover, Farmington, Milton, Rochester, and Somersworth. During the home visit, the parent is the primary teacher for their child. A variety of services are offered, including:

Prenatal Services

  • Weekly home visits 90 minutes in length
  • Prenatal education
  • Access to a Registered Nurse and Lactation Consultant

Infant & Toddler Services

  • Weekly home visits 90 minutes in length
  • Parent / child activities designed to enhance development
  • On-going developmental screening and assessment

Family Services

  • Parenting support and education
  • Parent involvement opportunities and social activities
  • Support with access to needed community services

Parents and their child also attend one of our Head Start center locations for a classroom socialization experience on a weekly basis. Parents meet other families from their town, participate in hands on workshops, share breakfast and lunch, participate in learning experiences with their child and go on occasional field trips.

Head Start Locations & Resources

To apply for the program, contact your nearest Head Start Center or call 603-516-8144 or email headstart@co.strafford.nh.us

62A Whittier Street

120 Main Street

55 Industrial Drive

150 Wakefield Street

184 Maple Street Extension

Web Links:

New Hampshire Head Start 2012

Office of Head Start (under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) http://bit.ly/I7amYj

National Head Start Association http://www.nhsa.org/

National Association for the Education of Young Children http://www.naeyc.org/

Head Start Testimonial

“In one year, I witnessed my daughter change from a toddler-like dependent to a little girl with the tools and understanding needed for the challenges that readily await her,” said Darril, a father from Dover. “It brings great joy to see her rapidly progress due to her Head Start experience. Head Start not only prepared my daughter for kindergarten, but instilled a confidence in learning I wish was provided to myself at her age.”

“The opportunity to volunteer and participate in her education has not only given me a unique experience it has also allowed me to witness her continued intellectual an social growth, while also providing a reminder of best of what we all are,” he said.