Southwestern Community Services

Head Start

SCS Head Start is a NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) accredited preschool program for children; it is also a family development opportunity for parents and caregivers. Our Six Head Start Centers are conveniently located throughout Cheshire and Sullivan counties. Our main office is located at Southwestern Community Services in Keene.

Head Start is a free, income-based program.

Please check out the current Eligibility Guidelines to see if your family qualifies. Families who wish to apply may contact us for more Details. To schedule an interview, please apply below.

Our Mission

Head Start provides a supportive and consistent preschool educational environment for children and families through open communication, exceptional resources, and positive role modeling to help children and adults become successful and self-sufficient.

For more information regarding SCS Head Start, please see the Southwestern Community Services, Inc. Head Start Annual Report

To learn more about Head Start, and see our mission in action, please view this short film.

If you are thinking of a career with Head Start, here are 5 reasons to consider joining our team.


The SCS Head Start Program respects the privacy of each Head Start participant and complies with the federal regulations on confidentiality of information. All information held by the program, whether gathered formally or informally, is private and protected. This includes medical history, family status, financial information, and other personal data. A printed copy of our Head Start confidentiality policy is available for families and staff at each Head Start Center and at the main office.

Parent & Community Involvement

Parent and community volunteers are urged to join in the program as helpers in the classroom, in the kitchen, at the office, on field trips, and during many other Head Start activities. Volunteers are encouraged to keep a regular schedule. The children get used to seeing volunteers every Wednesday from 9:00 -10:00 for instance, and look forward to each visit. We do not want to let them down.

Program Performance Standards

The Head Start Program of SCS follows Head Start Program Performance Standards, which explain the objectives and basic standards needed to meet our goals. All staff members are expected to be familiar with the Performance Standards and use them as a guide during the course of the year. Volunteers and parents are invited to become familiar with them. The Head Start Handbook contains the basic policies and procedures for all Centers. Safety and emergency procedures are covered in the Head Start safety plan.

*Opens PDF in a new window


We serve a nutritious breakfast and lunch each day at Head Start. Breakfast time is at 9:00 A.M. and Lunch is at noon. Menus are distributed to parents monthly through our SCS Head Start newsletter. We eat our meals family style, with children and adults seated together to serve themselves, eat, and socialize.

Male Involvement in Head Start

Head Start is committed to having positive male involvement in the program. Among the ways young children benefit from this type of experience are role development (being comfortable with males or females) social adjustment (getting along with other people), and cognitive development (thinking).

SCS Head Start Curriculum

SCS Head Start Curriculum is based on two key elements, Head Start Program Performance Standards and Best Practices as described by NAEYC. These are essential for a positive and effective program. All curriculum is grounded on sound child development principles pertaining to how children grow and learn.

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