Delivery Models

Communities make different choices about how to best use their Head Start funds, taking into account community size, numbers of children, existing services and capacity, isolation factors and transportation challenges, as well as family and community needs and priorities, and availability of qualified staff.

Some communities use Head Start funds to supplement and enhance existing programs and link with other funding sources, while others use funds to create programs where none existed before. Communities are not required to conform to a particular “model”, but many communities have chosen to deliver their programs in ways similar to those described below.

Outreach and Family Services Model

Head Start funds can focus on home visiting services and reaching out services to children and families, supplemented by regularly scheduled family activities. This works especially well in communities where there is no facility, not enough children, or transportation barriers making it difficult to run a centre-based program.

Daycare and Preschool Enhancement Models

Where fully functioning daycare or preschool services already exist, Head Start funds can enhance existing centre-based services, targeting gap areas and ensuring all six Head Start components are included in programming. For example, funds might be used to provide extra ECE or cultural staff, nutritious lunches, culture/language activities, programs targeting younger children and parents, parent workshops, outreach services, etc.

Combination Model

This delivery model is very flexible. Sites can use Head Start funds to enhance and/or offer an array of services to children 0–6 years and to their families (language nests, Mother Goose, parent-tot, outreach services, parenting programs, etc.) Programs can be short-term, on-going, or a combination of both. This works especially well for small communities where numbers aren’t high enough for a classroom program and where finding adequate facilities and licensed staff is a challenge.

Stand-Alone Model

Head Start funds can be used to create and run a centre-based program from scratch—to any pre-existing program or source of funds.