Head Start Preschool (Ages 3-5)

Head Start preschool
Head Start Preschool



Half-Day program available at: Centerburg | Danville | Fredericktown | New Hope Early Education | Northgate
Full-day program available at: Fredericktown | Gambier | New Hope Early Education



Head Start offers compressive, federally funded, community-based preschool in half-day school year programs (four days a week, September through May); in full-day, full-year classrooms; and in home-based services. We prepare children for kindergarten while providing nutritious meals and educational and social-emotional development by focusing on health, mental health, dental supports, and family services.



By providing family-style meals and comfortable couches, chairs, and mats for sitting, our warm setting allows children to feel confident, safe, and at home. In this secure and engaging environment, they can begin to master the skills necessary for learning in kindergarten.



We believe that children learn best through playing with materials that actively engage them. Through hands-on activities and opportunities to explore, both indoors and out, children will better understand their bodies, their environment, and their role in it.



Daily activities are varied and concerned with the whole child–how he/she feels and gets along with others and his/her need to move and explore. There is a balance of active and quiet play with both indoor and outdoor activities. Based on developmental stage, each child is given the chance to participate in age-appropriate activities such as block building, science, math, music, story time, language activities, reading and literacy, writing, dramatic play, art, outdoor play, and motor skills development.



Ages 3-5 years

  • Children must be 3 by August 1 (children turning 3 after August 1 may enroll anytime after their 3rd birthday) but must not yet be 5
  • Available at all 6 centers in Knox County
  • Half-day, Tuesday through Friday (subject to change)
  • Operates throughout the school year, September through May
  • Nutritious breakfasts, lunches, and snacks
  • Family advocacy services
  • Health and developmental screenings and referrals
  • Kindergarten transition planning

Half-Day Preschool

The  half-day Head Start preschool program provides Head Start services at five centers throughout Knox County. Children who are 3 by August 1 and not yet 5 years old may register to attend one of the centers. The first day of school is typically (but not always) the Wednesday following Labor Day each year. The last day of school is typically around the middle of May. Nutritious meals are provided to children, funded in part through the US Department of Agriculture’s Child and Adult Food Program.



Income eligibility guidelines are required for all Early Head Start and Head Start programs. Homeless families, IEP and foster children are eligible regardless of household income. Families receiving OWF assistance and Social Security Disability are eligible regardless of other household income. Children with special needs, Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), and Individualized Family Service Plans (IFSPs) are given priority for enrollment whenever possible.



When enrollment is full at one center, the Agency will work with the family to identify any possible program option at one of the other centers that may work for the child.


 Home-Based Option

A home-based option is available also, wherein the teacher will come to the home once a week and spend time with the child and the caregiver. The child and the caregiver are encouraged to attend scheduled socialization at the center wherein the child will attend the classroom and the parent will have an opportunity to network with other parents and attend trainings that are offered during the socialization. A nutritious meal and snack are provided on socialization days.



The home-based option may work well for young 3-year-olds and will prepare them to transition into the classroom at a center. The children and their families will receive the same family advocacy and health services as provided to the center-based programming.

From our Families

You have done wonders

This is a wonderful place for learning and everyone there is beyond caring. My son has attended for 3 years now and I almost hate to see him leave to go into kindergarten. Thanks, Head Start... you have done wonders for Kylar!

Sheila Lambert
Mount Vernon, Ohio

Exceptional learning opportunities

The Gambier Child Care Center has truly partnered with us in the early education of our children. not only have they provided exceptional learning opportunists, but the staff has taken individual interest in our children and family and collaborated with us to ensure the kids' experiences at home and school are consistent. From creative field trips to consistent outdoor play, the kids are still allowed to be kids, while benefiting from the intentional planning of their teachers. The combination of care for our children and dedication to their physical, social, and emotional development has been invaluable to our family. We're confident that our kids are in the best possible hands at GCCC.

Jessica Ryals
Mount Vernon, Ohio

Forever grateful…

My experience with KCHS has been amazing. I was much more scared than Marleigh was when she started school; however, she came home with wonderful stories of what she had done each day, asking to go back tomorrow. My mind quickly relaxed as I realized she was truly in some of the best hands in Knox County. The staff has been very helpful with so much more than just Marleigh and her school work. They've been helpful to me on a personal level, helping me when I have problems in my everyday life. I will forever be grateful. Marleigh is well prepared for kindergarten and I am sure that her Head Start will show throughout her education.

Erika Kinney
Centerburg, Ohio

Both boys needed help…

My grandson is graduating from Head Start next week and is a totally different boy. He is confident, full of life, and not afraid of his own shadow any more. Head Start has taught him to be a child, and that he matters. His younger brother is now in the classroom and doing great. Both boys needed help in different areas. Head Start helped them to become thriving young boys that will do great things as they grow older.

Catherine Griffith
Centerburg, Ohio

I fell in love with Head Start!

When Tyra first enrolled, they completed the screenings and she failed the hearing screening. We got connected to the hearing clinic,a nd then from there to OSU. She has total hearing loss in her left ear. Without Head Start, I would never have known. The resources and support from agency staff were overwhelming. I fell in love with Head Start! My children began to show their leadership skills at Head Start. The staff nurtured this and allowed them to grow and be leaders. My children  are all very resilient and strong - and they learned the skills to create that foundation at KCHS. I believe in what Head Start is and the difference it makes in families' lives.

JoAnn Clark
Mount Vernon, Ohio

I recommend this school to anyone

Before starting at Fredericktown Head Start, Kaydenlee's attention span was very low. He could not sit still long enough to put a puzzle together or have a book read to him. He could not identify any animals on his puzzles. In the three months he has been in this school, I have seen a complete change in him. Kaydenlee enjoys going to school and likes his teachers. He can talk 100% better in the last three months. Kaydenlee will sit for long periods putting puzzles together, and playing with cars. I want to thank this wonderful staff at his school. Kaydenlee would not be doing as well as he is today without his teachers and aides. I recommend this school to anyone that may be in search for a preschool. My son is an example of what a good staff can do.

Judith Parrish
Mount Vernon, Ohio