Head Start and Early Head Start Services


For more information or to enroll please call:
Bergen County Residents: (201) 366-1020
Paterson and Prospect Park Residents: (973) 546-2634
Jersey City Residents: (201) 884-1050



Help Children Succeed in School and Succeed in Life

Education: Head Start is the Right Start

Every day at GBCA Head Start and Early Head Start, infants, toddlers and children enjoy activities and games designed to teach everything from letters and numbers to sharing and getting along with others. Children learn reading skills and to love books. They learn about science and nature through enjoyable, hands-on activities. They paint, draw, and play music.

GBCA’s Head Start sites are multilingual and include children and families from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Diversity is celebrated both inside and outside of the classroom.

At mealtimes, a variety of foods is served; all the students eat delicious, nutritious meals.

When it’s time to move on, Head Start children leave with the confidence and skills they need to succeed to be kindergarten-ready.

Health and Head Start

GBCA’s Head Start and Early Head Start helps children and their families access free health services of the highest quality right in their own communities.

Every child is screened by a professional within the first 45 days of beginning the program, so any issues can be addressed quickly.

Head Start students have access to regular medical care, including check-ups, dental care, and mental health services.

Healthy living is a part of every day’s lessons at school. The children learn about healthy foods and nutrition, while enjoying fun classroom cooking activities. They are taught to wash their hands and brush their teeth every day so that healthy habits become practice at an early age.

Licensed nurses help families find answers to healthcare questions that come up and help them seek medical attention when needed.

Children with Disabilities

Children with disabilities are a welcome part of GBCA’s Head Start and Early Head Start.

To us, every child has unique strengths and needs. Parents, teachers, and specialists all work together to develop a unique
program for each child, both in the classroom and at home. Children with
disabilities are included in regular activities and play and learn right along
with all the other children. Our program has the resources to help children
with disabilities, whether the disabilities are physical, developmental, or
behavioral. Year after year, children with disabilities make up more than
10% of our program’s total enrollment. Year after year, GBCA is committed to every child’s success.

Parents: Get a New Start with Head Start

For adults, it all can start at GBCA’s Head Start and Early Head Start: a high school diploma, a new job, or a new neighborhood. With job training, adult education classes, housing assistance, and more, Head Start offers many opportunities for adults looking for something better.

Every family works with one Head Start Family Worker who helps all members of the family identify goals and figure out what to do to accomplish them. All centers even have a separate area where adults can come to learn, talk, or meet others.

Head Start also has programs that address many of the complex issues facing families today. We reach out to grandparents and have programs for fathers, including a support group for them to come and talk about their issues and learn parenting skills. With so many ways to help adults both as individuals and parents, GBCA’s program just might be a new beginning.

  • Adult Education
  • High School Equivalency (HSE) Programs
  • Computer Training
  • English Language Classes (ESL)
  • Job Training
  • Job Referrals
  • Health Services
  • Cooking and Nutrition Workshops
  • Housing Assistance
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    Head Start: A Partnership with Parents

    Head Start and Early Head Start have been run as a partnership between staff and families. In our program, parents and other adult family members share in making many of the important decisions. Parents even make up a majority of the Policy Council that shares responsibility for Head Start programs throughout GBCA’s Head Start and Early Head Start service areas–Bergen County, Paterson, and Jersey City.

    Parents also serve as important connections to the community. They may assist in recruiting new families or speak about how Head Start has positively impacted their children and families. Some work with outreach programs, and others participate in support groups. A big reason Head Start does so much for families is that families do so much for Head Start.

    Staff: The Heart of Head Start

    In the middle of it all is GBCA’s Head Start and Early Head Start staff: professional, personable, experienced, dedicated, and excited to help families take advantage of all Head Start and Early Head Start has to offer.

    From the first phone call or the first meeting, it is clear that the people who work at Head Start and Early Head Start are incredibly committed to what they do. Head Start staff members often live right in the community.

    Teachers, family workers, volunteers, administrators, health professionals, cooks, maintenance staff, and custodians: everyone at GBCA’s Head Start and Early Head Start is here to do whatever it takes to help Head Start children and family members succeed.



    This program offers full-day, full-year early childhood education sessions to pre-school children. Classes run from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm. Parents must be employed or in school full-time.

    There is a fee for this service, based on family size and income. Eligibility is open to those who are Bergen County residents with low-income as defined by the US Federal Government. This program is funded in part by the NJ Department of Human Services, Division of Family Development.
    For more information, call 201-366-1020.

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