Head Start has been a part of northern Arizona for over thirty years. The Northern Arizona Council of Governments (NACOG) administers the Program that has a service area of 27,000 square miles and includes the four counties of Apache, Navajo, Coconino, and Yavapai. The Program serves children zero to five years old who meet the required income guidelines. NACOG uses several program options to provide Preschool and Early Head Start services in 28 Northern Arizona communities on behalf of 1613 children.
NACOG addresses the needs of enrolled children and families by using the Head Start Performance Standards and locally designed service delivery systems. The program utilizes a comprehensive approach in meeting the needs of enrolled children and provides them the opportunity to begin their school experience on equal footing with their more socially advantaged peers. This is done with the use of field management zones and a network of service area partnerships that address the extreme rural barriers confronted by our large geographic area, extreme weather conditions, and the lack of resources.
Head Start is federally funded through the Congressional Head Start Act, and is administered by the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families. As Head Start enters the 21st century, a new national perspective and changes will have a major impact on established services.