Head Start & Early Head Start

Bennington County

Head Start & Early Head Start

A young girl smilies after stacking arched colorful blocks on top of each other.
The Head Start logo. Two wooden play blocks stacked on top of each other. The bottom one is white with red strips and the top one is blue with a white arrow pointing up.

We prepare children and their families for school through collaborative approaches to high quality education, health and social services.

Bennington Country Head Start/Early Start is a federally funded educational program for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years that has been providing early childhood/pre-k education in Bennington County since 1965. Staffed by caring, qualified professionals, the program specializes in education, school readiness, family engagement, and health and family services.

Who We Are

Head Start serves children ages 3 to 5, and Early Head Start serves children from 6 weeks to 3 years. Program services are at no cost for eligible families.

Our classrooms provide a rich and educational experience, and the program includes health screenings, healthy meals and snacks, and both structured and unstructured play indoors and outdoors in a safe setting. Children with disabilities are welcome at Bennington County Head Start/Early Head Start. Space is reserved for children with special needs (heading, speech, vision impairment, or emotional or physical challenges.

Bennington County Head Start/Early Head Start is licensed by the State of Vermont, administered by United Children’s Services division of United Counseling Service of Bennington County, and supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

What We Offer

We offer services designed to meet each child’s (and each family’s) specific needs. The program follows the Vermont Early Learning Standards addressing children’s natural love for learning, building social and personal skills, supporting emotional health and building self-esteem. 

Head Start provides children with kindergarten readiness activities that help them grow socially, emotionally, and physically. Early Head Start utilizes a play-based model for learning. The program offers children and families a sense of belonging, support services, and a chance to be involved in activities to help your entire family. We believe that a parent is a child’s most important teacher, so we support parents in reaching their own goals and building better lives for themselves and their families.

The United Children's Services Logo. It has a green sprout next to the text that says "United Children's Services, Bennington County Head Start and Early Head Start"

  • Universal pre-k partnership with supervisory unions serving Bennington County. Children learn skills for school success
  • A variety of learning experiences, such as art, literacy, music, dance, language, number concepts, field trips, health and safety, nutrition, gardening, swimming, and outdoor play
  • Parent-teacher conferences and home visits to keep parents informed and share information
  • Developmental screening and evaluation
  • Special needs services for children with learning and/or physical disabilities
  • Head Start operates on a school-year schedule, with summer childcare programming available; Early Head Start operates September through mid-August

Good health fosters growth and learning. Our program is designed to improve your child’s physical development, and identify health problems that could interfere with learning. Health services connect with lifelong health resources.

  • Hearing, vision, and growth screenings
  • Physical and emotional developmental assessments
  • Tooth Tutor and oral health services
  • Healthy meals and nutrition education
  • Individualized informational assistance

We believe that a parent is a young child’s most important teacher, and we support parents in reaching their goals and building better lives for themselves and their families. Family Support workers assist families in finding the information, resources and referrals they need.

  • Community information and referrals
  • Childcare financial assistance and referrals
  • Networking with local agencies to provide assistance with individual family needs
  • Community outreach activities
  • Regular home visits

  • Transportation for our Bennington and North Bennington locations is available for Head Start and Early Head Start children over the age of 2. Bus seating is limited and an application to determine eligibility is required.
  • We can help with obtaining transportation for medical appointments.

  • Parenting classes and workshops on topics such as budgeting, child safety, stress management, healthy cooking and more
  • Volunteer opportunities on field trips, events, and in the classroom
  • Family literacy activities
  • Programs designed especially for dads and other male caregivers/guardians
  • Opportunities to serve on committees
    • Education/Curriculum
    • Center Governance
    • Policy Council
    • Health Advisory
    • Family and Community Partnership

The UCS Infant and Toddler Center provides individualized early care and a safe and nurturing environment for children from six weeks to three-and-a-half years of age.

For Enrollment and Questions

Head Start
2 Park Street
North Bennington, VT 05257

Phone: (802) 442-3686
Fax: (802) 447-3423

Locations

For additional information about any locations call (802) 442-3686

North Bennington Campus
Pownal Center
Spring Center, Bennington
Infant and Toddler Center


Partner Locations

Manchester Elementary School (MEMS): (802) 362-3950 
Forever Friends: (802) 447-8843
Oak Hill Children’s Center: (802) 823-7839

Head Start Reports

Bennington County Head Start is recognized and accredited for quality programs. To deliver high quality care and enrichment, we carefully plan and evaluate our programs. Here are some of the documents we use to improve quality and meet needs.

Pursuant to the Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007, Head Start grantees must make available to the public an annual report that discloses certain information. The following is the most recent program year report for Bennington County Head Start. 

Download

The Parent Handbook provides useful information, including our annual calendar for parents and guardians of children enrolled in Bennington County Head Start.

Download

The school readiness goals were identified in collaboration with the Vermont early childhood community as indicators of school readiness success. The goals can be viewed here.

Download

The purpose of the Self Assessment is to meet Head Start Performance Standard 1305.3- Determining Community Strengths and Needs. The information from this assessment is used to set long and short-term program objectives, determine services most needed, and provide governing bodies with relevant information about the service area.

Download

The purpose of the Community Assessment is to meet Head Start Performance Standard 1305.3- Determining Community Strengths and Needs. The information from this assessment is used to set long and short-term program objectives, determine services most needed, and provide governing bodies with relevant information about the service area.

Download

The annual report outlines the programs and services provided by United Counseling Service, including Head Start/United Children’s Services. You can view the most recent UCH Annual Report here.

View Reports

This document provides information regarding our annual self-assessment, component and administrative systems monitoring, and classroom monitoring.

Download

Bennington County Head Start is recognized as a 5-STARS program for high quality early childhood education by the Vermont Agency of Human Services, and in addition to federal regulations the program also follows Vermont State Licensing Standards through the Child Development Division (dcf.vermont.gov).

Additional informational websites include the National Head Start Association at www.nhsa.org and the Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center at www.eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov.

Head Start® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).