Head Start & Early Head Start


Head Start (HS) and Early Head Start (EHS) are comprehensive education, health, and nutrition programs specifically designed to help parents prepare their children for school in Franklin and Patrick Counties. They are designed to foster the healthy development of children from low-income families. STEP classrooms also provide the opportunity for social, emotional, and intellectual growth, along with health screenings and medical/dental support services. The Head Start approach serves the entire family and seeks to empower both parents and children. Nearly 25 million pre-school aged children across the United States have benefited from Head Start since its inception in 1965. 

Our program serves over 200 clients including pregnant women and children from birth through age five. With over 50 education professionals, our team includes teachers, teacher assistants, family service specialists and educators, health advocates, and transportation specialists.

Head Start classrooms are generally open from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., August through May, while Early Head Start operates on a year-round schedule.  Our programs are supported by the Franklin and Patrick County Public Schools, the Infant and Toddler Connection of Virginia, and Piedmont Community Services. 

Take advantage of this one-stop registration opportunity!

Smart2Start is a program that allows parents to apply to child care/early education options such as Franklin County Pre-K, participating private child care, and Franklin County Head Start/Early Head Start using just one application!    

                                                                                              Apply here:

Head Start/Early Head Start Application 23-24

Parent Handbook 2023-2024

What You Should Know About Vaccinating Your Child 

Head Start Center Locator (by zipcode) 



Eli struggled with learning and reading but after working with his Head Start/Early Head Start teachers
and his parents, he's ready for school!  Read Eli's Story.


Contact Us

Franklin County Office
200 Dent Street
Rocky Mount, VA 24151
(540) 483-5142

Patrick County Office
4559 Wayside Road
Stuart, VA 24171
(276) 694-2239


Shirley Wells, Early Childhood Education Director
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
(540) 483-5142, ext. 3045