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Head Start Program (U.S.)


Historical Information

Head Start is a program "that provides comprehensive early childhood education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services to low-income children and families."

The program began as part of Lyndon B. Johnson's War on Poverty. As part of this initiative, the Economic Opportunity Act was proposed and passed in 1964 which included training, education, and service programs for communities in need.

In 1965, Project Head Start was launched by the Office of Economic Opportunity's Community Action Program (CAP) as a comprehensive child development program to help communities meet the needs of disadvantaged preschool children. Head Start programs were administered locally by CAPs which received federal funding to administer the programs.

Today, the program is in the Administration for Children and Families, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services.


Head Start (program). (2019, November 2). Wikipedia. Retrieved from:

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

Mary O'Hara papers on Helen Bass Williams

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSP 311
Overview This collection documents Dr. Mary O'Hara's research into and relationship with Helen Bass Williams and includes research notes, correspondence, oral history recordings, interview transcripts, and published materials.
Dates: 1951 - 2007; Majority of material found within 1985 - 2000

Helen Bass Williams papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSP 310
Overview This collection includes documents, correspondence, published materials, photographs, and audio recordings collected and created by Helen Bass Williams that document her personal life, education, and her work as a civil rights activist in the South, educator, and counselor and professor at Purdue University.
Dates: 1915 - 2004; Majority of material found within circa 1960s and 1970s