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student and teacherHead Start and Early Head Start

Head Start is a comprehensive education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement program that was created in 1965.  Nearly 25 million pre-school aged children across the United States have benefited from Head Start.  It is designed to foster the healthy development of three and four year old children from low-income families.  Early Head Start evolved out of Head Start’s long history of providing services to infants and toddlers.  STEP provides education, nutritious meals, and the opportunity for the social, emotional, and intellectual growth that helps to prepare the children for success in school and life.  In addition, STEP Head Start provides health screenings along with medical and dental support services.  The Head Start approach serves the entire family and seeks to empower both parent and child.

STEP Head Start/Early Head Start is funded to serve 218 clients which include pregnant women and children from birth through age five in Franklin and Patrick counties.  With over 50 staff members, Head Start/Early Head Start employees include Head Start teachers and teacher assistants, Early Head Start caregivers, family service specialists, Early Head Start family educators, health advocates, and transportation specialists.

In Patrick County, we have three Head Start classrooms, two Early Head Start classrooms, and an Early Head Start home base option.  In Franklin County, we have three Head Start classrooms and an additional eight collaborative Head Start classrooms.  Our collaborative classrooms are partnerships with Franklin County schools where our students attend the same class as other pre-kindergarten students.  We also have five Early Head Start classrooms and the Early Head Start home base option in Franklin County. 

Classrooms are open from approximately 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. with some variations in hours depending on location.  Early Head Start operates year round with some time off for holidays and staff training.  Head Start generally operates from August to May with some time off for holidays and staff training.

STEP’s Head Start partners with Franklin County Public Schools, Patrick County Public Schools, Infant and Toddler Connection of Virginia, and Piedmont Community Services in both counties to support the growth and development of children and families with the ultimate goal of school readiness.


Franklin County Early Head Start

  • Five classrooms at the Dent Street office in Rocky Mount
  • Home Base option serving 12 clients

Franklin County Head Start

  • Three classrooms at the Dent Street office in Rocky Mount
  • Additional classrooms at Lee M. Waid, Glade Hill, Sontag, and Rocky Mount elementary schools

Patrick County Early Head Start

  • Two classrooms at the Wayside Road office in Stuart
  • Home Base option serving 12 clients

Patrick County Head Start

  • One classroom at the Wayside Road office in Stuart
  • One classroom housed in Patrick Springs Primary
  • One classroom housed in Blue Ridge Elementary

The following information is required to complete the application process:

  1. Completed Application: Download the application here (pdf)
  2. Income Verification
  3. Birth Verification
  4. Proof of Residency

Acceptable Sources for Verification of Income:

  • W-2 or Income Tax Form
  • Check Stub
  • Child Support
  • Letter from the Department of Social Services

Acceptable Sources for Birth Verification:

  • Birth Certificate
  • Hospital Proof of Birth Letter

Acceptable Sources for Proof of Residency:

  • Utility bill
  • Signed lease

For further information on enrolling a child, contact the Head Start office below:

Franklin County
200 Dent Street
Rocky Mount, VA 24151

Patrick County
4559 Wayside Road
Stuart, VA 24171