Early Head Start (EHS) is a federally funded community-based program for low-income families with infants and toddlers and pregnant women. Its mission is simple:

· to promote healthy prenatal outcomes for pregnant women,

· to enhance the development of very young children, and

· to promote healthy family functioning.

EHS evolved out of Head Start's long history of providing services to infants and toddlers through Parent Child Centers, Comprehensive Child Development Centers (CCDPs) and Migrant Head Start programs. Recent advances in the field of infant development make this an especially exciting time to have Head Start formally expand its family to include the provision of Early Head Start services.

In 1994, the Secretary of Health and Human Services formed an Advisory Committee on Services for Families with Infants and Toddlers to design EHS. EHS evolved out of Head Start's long history of providing services to infants and toddlers through Parent and Child Centers, Comprehensive Child Development Centers (CCDPs), Migrant and Seasonal Head Start programs, and other early child development and family support efforts serving families with very young children. Recent advances in the field of infant development make EHS services so important.

Source: Early Head Start National Resource Center