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Head Start

Ensure a brighter future

Created in 1965, Head Start is the most successful, longest-running, national school readiness program in the United States. Eligible children receive education, nutrition and health services from YMCA Head Start programs which are federally funded. YMCA Head Start services are available for families that meet income eligibility guidelines or have a child with a diagnosed disability.

DAYS: Monday-Friday
TIME: Full-Day and Extended-Day

Get ready for school with Head Start! Designed specifically for children ages six weeks old through pre-kindergarten, this program provides child care and education, including dental and health services, to low-income families. A social service and parent involvement staff specialist is available to assist participating families.

These early years are critical to the healthy development of every child. Head Start is focused on school readiness and healthy families. You can set your child up for success now and in the future with Head Start.


YMCA Head Start services are available for families that meet income eligibility guidelines or have a child with a diagnosed disability. Eligible children receive education, nutrition and health services from YMCA Head Start programs. The YMCA Head Start program is available through a federal grant awarded to Mid-America Regional Council (MARC), which is regulated by the Mid-America Head Start (MAHS) program.

For the Whole Family

Parents are extended an open invitation to become involved through group activities, volunteering and interaction with our experienced and caring associates. Families not only have the opportunity to become closer to their child, but also have the opportunity to learn and receive support for the needs of the family.

Meeting Your Needs

  • Comprehensive curriculum that meets the needs of the child and family
  • Resources to support children and families to be successful
  • Support for the family to be the child’s “Best and First Teacher”
  • Relationships with school districts to ensure smooth transitions
  • Opportunities for families to be involved at every level of their child’s development and education

Take the Next Step

For more information or to determine your eligibility, call 816.841.3382 or email

Filter Results

Columbus Park YMCA Head Start

1100 E 4th Street
Kansas City, MO 64106

Head Start extended day classrooms available.

Northland YMCA Head Start

3100 NE 83rd Street
Suite 1501-A
Kansas City MO 64119

Head Start full-day (year-round) and extended day classrooms available.

Park Hill YMCA Head Start

8100 N Congress
Kansas City, MO 64153

Head Start Extended-Day classrooms available.

Thomas Roque YMCA Head Start

3800 E 51st Street
Kansas City, MO 64130

Early Head Start (year-round) classrooms available.

Head Start

Creative Curriculum®: Creative Curriculum is a comprehensive, research-based curriculum that promotes exploration and discovery as a way of learning, enabling children to develop confidence, creativity, and lifelong critical thinking skills.

Conscious Discipline: Conscious Discipline is a whole-school solution for social-emotional learning, discipline, self-regulation and classroom management. The strategies and structures transform school culture into a safe haven of cooperation, constructive problem-solving and academic success.

Trauma Smart: Developed by experts at Crittenton Children's Center, Trauma Smart is working in schools across the country. Trauma Smart prepares children for social and academic success. The Trauma Smart program is founded on evidence-based interventions that are recognized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the National Child Traumatic Stress Network to be effective in helping children and the adults who care for them, address the negative impact of violence and trauma

Raising a Reader: A literacy program that instills the love of reading within children while strengthening family relationships! The program brings families together to book cuddle, or share a book with family members. Parents appreciate the time it saves from having to get their own high quality children’s books,children love the opportunity to take home a red bag every week, and staff promote the program because they know the power of reading strengthens language and brain development.

Parent and Family
Engagement Activities

Parenting Curriculum: We offer opportunities for parents to participate in a research-based parenting curriculum that builds on parent’s knowledge and offers parents opportunities to practice parenting skills and build a positive support system

Family Engagement: Engagement happens in the home, early childhood program, school, and community. It is a shared responsibility of all those who want children to succeed in school and in life. Family engagement is based on the idea that parents and others who care for their children work together to prepare children for success. It requires making a commitment to creating and sustaining an ongoing partnership that supports family well-being.

Engagement Activities: Head Start offers a number of ways for parents to get involved and engaged in their child's education. Some of these include participating in home visits, attending center based parent activities, volunteering within your child’s school, completing homework with your child and staying aware of center and program activities.

VROOM: Boost your child's learning with fast and fun tips available by text! With Vroom by Text you can turn any moment into a brain building moment. No need for yet another app or dipping into your data plan! You can even register multiple children to a single phone number. Available in English or Spanish.

Parent Advisory Committee /
Program Governance

Parent Committees: Each Center has a Parent Committee with elected officers. These officers conduct monthly parent meetings. At these meetings, training is provided on various child development and self sufficiency topics. Parents also plan parent/ child activities held at the center. Parent Committees also provide input and feedback for Parent Advisory Committee members to better represent their centers. Parent Committee meeting date and times vary from center to center.

Parent Advisory Committee: This committee is responsible for the direction of the program including reviewing program design and operation and long and short term goals and objectives. Parent Advisory is comprised of parent representatives and a community representative elected from each of the four Head Start centers and the one Early Head Start center. Parent Advisory members provide valuable feedback on recruitment, personnel policies, hiring, budget, and all services provided to children and families. They also serves another function in fostering parent leadership and empowerment. This sense of confidence is intended to allow parents to continue to take a leading role in their child’s education and care well after Head Start.

HEPA: As a part of the Ys commitment to healthy living, the YMCA Head Start Program has adopted a set of Healthy Eating & Physical Activity Standards (HEPA). Our goal is to build a healthier future for our nation’s children by creating environments rich in opportunities for healthy eating and physical activity

I am Moving I am Learning: Children need substantial amounts of moderate to vigorous physical activity and good foods in the right amounts to have a healthy weight. IMIL seeks to increase daily moderate to vigorous physical activity, improve the quality of movement activities intentionally planned and facilitated by adults, and promote healthy food choices every day.

Children's Services Fun of Jackson County

Thanks to Children's Services Fund of Jackson County for funding to support staff training and behavior specialists. Funds support TraumaSmart Trauma-Informed Care training through our partnership with Crittenton Children's Center, and enable the Y to provide individualized support for children enrolled in those programs. Behavior specialists provide support for classroom management in addition to providing social-emotional learning training for staff.