Early Head Start and Head Start are family-centered success and early childhood education programs offered at no cost to expectant mothers and families with children ages birth to 5 years old. Our high-quality early education program focuses on developing the physical, social, emotional and learning skills that children need to be ready to promote into kindergarten. Learn more about how Early Head Start and Head Start offer no-cost childcare and family support services to qualified families.

Apply online or call 602-372-3700 to schedule an appointment to complete your application with a Family Support Specialist.  

Head Start

Head Start Web Photos


There are many factors, situations and reasons why your family may qualify to receive the no-cost, comprehensive services of Maricopa County’s Head Start programs. Because each family is unique, we encourage all families, regardless of income, to apply.

Some families may qualify for our no-cost services based on income. Check the Poverty Guidelines to learn more. Families who receive public assistance (TANF or SSI), and those with children in foster care or children who are homeless also qualify regardless of household income. 

Because each family is unique, we encourage all families, regardless of income, to apply.


Expectant Mothers

Pregnant Mothers

Our Early Head Start offers specialized support and connection to helpful resources for expectant mothers and their family.

Birth Up to 3 Years

0-3 Year Olds

Infants from birth to 3 years old receive loving, quality care through Maricopa County’s Early Head Start program.  

3 Up to 5 Years

3-4 Years Old

Head Start prepares children for kindergarten by promoting the skills children need to be successful as they advance to elementary school. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Maricopa County Head Start and Early Head Start programs are no cost programs for families with children birth to age five. The Head Start program is federally funded and designed to promote school readiness for children from low-income families, families with children with special needs, homeless families, children in Foster Care, teen parents, and grandparents or kin raising grandchildren or kin. Early Head Start serves pregnant women and families with children under age 3. Head Start programs serve children between 3 and 5 years old.

Maricopa County ensures that all staff engaged in the delivery of services to Head Start and Early Head Start families have sufficient knowledge, training, experience, and competencies to fulfill the roles and responsibilities of their positions to delivery high quality experiences in accordance with the program performance standards. We provide ongoing training and professional development to support staff in fulfilling their roles and responsibilities.

Health and safety are our top priorities for our children, family, and staff. We see to it that each staff member has an initial health examination and a periodic re-examination as recommended by their health care provider in accordance with state, tribal, or local requirements, that include screeners or tests for communicable diseases, as appropriate. This is done to ensure staff do not, because of communicable diseases, pose a significant risk to the health or safety of others in the program that cannot be eliminated or reduced by reasonable accommodation, in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Our program also follows strict COVID policies and procedures at all of our locations.

Early Head Start and Head Start are high quality programs that meet strict local and federal regulations and performance standards. Daily cleaning and sanitation take place at all our facilities. Health and safety are our top priorities for our children, family, and staff.

All of Maricopa County locations follow Office of Head Start Performance Standards, Arizona Child Care Licensing Regulations, Child and Adult Care Food Program requirements, Department of Economic Security Child Care Subsidy Regulations, and local, state, and federal safety regulations. Early Head Start and Head Start implement research based, age-appropriate curriculum for our children. Early Head Start center-based classrooms implement Creative Curriculum. Early Head Start Homebase implements Partners For A Healthy Baby curriculum. Our Head Start Program implements Creative Curriculum. All education programs utilize Conscious Discipline. For our parent education curriculums, we utilize Triple P (Positive Parenting Program) and Conscious Discipline. We are a trauma-informed focus program.

Yes. Early Head Start services offered to pregnant women and their families are based on how the community needs assessment informs each program’s approach. Maricopa County Early Education program provides prenatal and postpartum information, education, and services.



Are you passionate about helping children succeed in school and beyond? Do you want to pursue meaningful work that makes a difference in the lives of local families?

We invite you to work with us! 

We have a variety of roles that each contribute to our mission to encourage the social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development of children enrolled in our program while also delivering family-centered services. Every day we work to prepare Early Head Start (birth up to 3 years) and Head Start (ages 3 up to 5 years) students for future success as they promote to kindergarten.

Maricopa County Head Start Locations

Maricopa County Early Head Start and Head Start are offered by the Early Education Division of the Human Services Department of Maricopa County. The Early Education Division is dedicated to ensuring children have the knowledge and skills to be successful in school and life through service delivery to children and families in core areas of early learning, health, and family well-being while engaging parents as partners every step of the way. Head Start encompasses Head Start preschool programs, which primarily serve 3- and 4-year-old children, and Early Head Start programs for infants, toddlers, and pregnant women.

Looking for additional locations? The City of Phoenix and Catholic Charities offer Head Start programming in select areas.