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What is the difference between preschool and headstart?

8 Comments

  1. Emma&Laura'sMumMum says:

    Are you referring to public preschool and headstart?
    Headstart is federally funded. It is available to 3 and 4 year olds who are at risk – either low income or they have been diagnosed with a disability. It is usually a separate building from the regular school
    Preschool is state funded, located within the regular school, just like schools are and anyone age 4 can go.
    Some counties combine headstart and preschool by it can be tricky b/c of the funding issues.

    There are also private preschools – anyone with the proper certification and license can run one of these. They have tuition like a private school.

    So neither comes first per say.

  2. HEISENBERG says:

    The price

  3. Who am I? says:

    Head Start is a free service to economically disadvantaged children. It’s similar to preK but I think they cover more basic life skills than preK assuming the parents don’t have the resources to do it.

    PreK is private, or sometimes offered through the public schools, but is usually aimed at K preparedness with the children learning early academic and social skills.

  4. Flo says:

    In our district both are funded through the public school system. But Headstart is for children with slight to severe social or other developmental impairments. It helps get them up to speed with the other kids before "real" school begins.
    Based on other answers it seems the definition varies based on location. I would call the school and ask. Or ask other parents in your district.

    That said, my son who has Asperger’s attended Headstart. It was the best thing we ever did! Within 2 weeks he had made worlds of improvement with his social skills. Best decision ever!!

  5. Ivy has Twin Boys! says:

    Headstart is more regulated. It is a specific program aimed for disadvantaged kids.

    Preschool is much more varied. It is any learning program for 3-4 year olds.

    I would call headstart a specific type of preschool.

  6. Tasha says:

    Headstart is an accredited school for low income families. The parents are also expected to be very involved and even take some classes of their own. They teach extra things like nutrition and hygiene.

  7. Manchild says:

    One doesn’t come before the other. You pay for preschool and Head Start is a free preschool program for people who are low-income.

    Preschool is usually better if you can afford it.

  8. pixiedust says:

    They’re pretty much the same thing, they are both a "preschool", but head start is more for children who are low income or have other issues, such as family issues (divored parents, abuse, neglect), &/or developmental problems, it leans more towards high-risk children. However, "normal" children do go to head start too.

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