The Foundation of Head Start
From the beginning, Head Start programs have offered comprehensive services to children and families. See how early learning, health, and family well-being supports ensure children are ready to learn.
Find out how Head Start staff work with families to help them set goals, address their most pressing needs, identify their strengths, and find their own voices.
Head Start Child Development Program
Head Start is a comprehensive preschool program for children ages 3-5 years old from disadvantaged families. Eligibility is based on income guidelines from the federal government. To be eligible your family income must be 100% or below on the Income Guidelines chart. Families who receive TANF, SSI or SNAP are also eligible.
The program provides services in five major areas: Education, Health, Social Services, Parent Involvement, and Special Needs.
Education: Every child receives a variety of learning experiences that foster physical, social, emotional, and cognitive growth. The program combines teacher-directed and child-directed activities.
Health: Head Start arranges for every child to receive, if needed, comprehensive health care including:
Complete medical examinations
Mental Health screening and services
Medical examinations include vision and hearing tests, identification of disabling conditions, immunizations, and dental exams. Registration for WIC (Women, Infant and Children) services are available and encouraged.
Nutrition services include a minimum of one hot meal and one snack for each child daily. The agency Nutrition Services Manager supervises nutrition activities for the Head Start Program.
A mental health professional is available to provide mental health education to staff, parents, and children.
Parents are encouraged to be involved in Head Start program planning by joining the Policy Council where they have a strong voice in decisions, and by volunteering their time as teacher aides, storytellers, cooks, or clerical workers.
Emphasis is placed on assisting Head Start families in determining what their individual needs are, and guiding each family to meet those needs through referrals to community resources. Details of resources available for emergency situations are also provided.
Special needs services (including speech and mental health consultation) are offered at each Head Start site. Children with diverse needs are always welcome at Head Start.
All staff are trained and possess the skills necessary to meet the needs of young children. All staff are CPR certified and First Aid trained.
Head Start Programs not only enhance the growth and development of children, they promote family self-sufficiency and develop community partnerships. O.C.E.A.N., Inc. currently operates Head Start programs at six locations throughout Ocean County in Brick, Berkeley, Barnegat, Toms River, Manchester and the LEAP Delegate Center in Lakewood. (Visit the Locations/Directions page for center addresses).
O.C.E.A.N., Inc. Head Start have taken the lead in building community awareness of barriers faced by low-income families in accessing dental care for their children, and in seeking viable solutions.
O.C.E.A.N., Inc. provides reasonable accommodations to those with physical disabilities (first floor accommodations/elevators) and language requirements (barriers) through the use of in-house translators when required for agency program services).
For information on programs above please contact the Head Start office in your area
Brick Head Start
503 Adamston Road, Brick, NJ 08723
Manchester Head Start
2950 Wilbur Ave, Manchester Township, NJ 08759
Toms River Center on the OCC Campus
1 College Drive, Toms River, NJ 08754
Head Start Management
264 First Avenue, South Toms River, NJ 08757