Head Start/Early Head Start

Comprehensive services for children ages 0-5

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CAI HS/EHS Appreciates Parent Volunteers

The Community Action, Inc. Head Start/Early Head Start (CAI HS/EHS) program provides comprehensive services for children ages 0-5 and serves approximately 250 infants, toddlers, pregnant mothers, fathers and preschoolers. This program offers:

  • The highest quality educators, classrooms and outdoor space
  • Kindergarten preparedness utilizing curriculum aligned with MA Early Learning Standards
  • Healthy meals and snacks
  • Family and health services
  • Mental health/wellness services
  • Services for children with special needs and disabilities
  • Assessments 3 times per year
  • Comprehensive developmental, behavioral, health and dental screenings
  • Volunteer and leadership opportunities
  • Limited transportation services

CAI HS/EHS is federally funded by the Administration for Children and Families. The Office of Head Start provides guidance, oversight and on-going monitoring of the program.

We are a member of the National Head Start Association, the New England Head Start Association and the MA Head Start Association. Head Start and Early Head Start operate in nearly every community in the United States and its territories.

CAI HS/EHS Administration is located at 75 Elm Street in Haverhill, MA. 978-372-5052. 

Brain Building in Progress

Our classroom centers are located in Haverhill and Newburyport and are licensed by the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) and are accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Program options include:

  • Infant and Toddler Full Day/Full Year Center-based Care
    Haverhill only
  • Preschool Part-Day/Part-Year
    3.5 hours per day, Monday through Thursday, Haverhill and Newburyport
  • Early Head Start Home-based Services
    Greater Haverhill/Newburyport area
  • Family Child Care for Early Head Start
    Greater Haverhill/Newburyport area
  • Socialization Groups for Early Head Start
    Haverhill and Newburyport
CAI HS/EHS Family Garden Event

CAI HS/EHS offers the support for your family:

  • A Sense of Belonging
    CAI HS/EHS offers support services and a chance to be involved in activities to help your whole family. You can take part in classes on many subjects, such as parenting, job training, health and nutrition and using free resources in your own community.
  • Parent Support
    Some parents learn the English language; others learn to cook. CAI HS/EHS also offers assistance to parents interested in obtaining their High School Equivalency Diploma (HiSET formerly GED) or other adult education opportunities.
  • Family Referral Services
    If you have a family member with a special problem, such as drug or alcohol abuse, job loss, or other family crisis, your family can receive help through CAI HS/EHS. Our staff members refer families needing help to medical, social, transitional assistance, or employment specialists in the community and will follow up to be sure you receive assistance.
  • Volunteer Opportunities
    You can become a volunteer and learn more about child development. This experience may later qualify you for training which can help you find employment in the child care field.
    You can also have a voice in the CAI HS/EHS program by serving on the Policy Council and on various committees. Parents' experiences in CAI HS/EHS have raised their own self-confidence and improved their ability to make decisions.


Eligibility, service area and income guidelines

CAI-HS/EHS serves the following Massachusetts cities and towns: Amesbury, Georgetown, Groveland, Haverhill, Merrimac, Newbury, Newburyport, Salisbury, and West Newbury.

All children ages 0–5 are eligible for CAI HS/EHS if they meet the federal income guidelines. We may fill 10% of available slots with over-income families and an additional 10% of available enrollment slots are reserved for special needs children. No child shall be excluded because of race, color, gender, national origin or disability, from participation in CAI HS/EHS.

There are no fees, however, families that are enrolled in the full day/full year center-based program will have fees based on the MA EEC sliding fee scale. When school is in session (128 days) parents will pay a part-time rate. When school is closed, parents pay a full day rate.


Most applications are completed during the annual spring recruitment however applications are accepted throughout the year.

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