A History of Head Start
Head Start is a national program administered through the Administration for Children and Families in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Since its inception the purpose of Head Start has been to promote school readiness by enhancing the social and cognitive development of children through the provision of education, health, nutritional, social, and other comprehensive services to enrolled children and families.

In 1965, the Office of Economic Opportunity launched Project Head Start as an eight-week summer program. Head Start was part of the war on poverty, which embodied a basic belief in education as the solution to poverty. Head Start was designed to help break the “cycle of poverty” by providing preschool children of low income families with a comprehensive program to meet their emotional, social, health, nutritional, and psychological needs.

In 1969, Head Start was transferred from the Office of Economic Opportunity to the Office of Child Development in the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Head Start serves many American Indian, migrant farm worker, urban and rural children and families in all 50 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Pacific Insular Areas.

Head Start has grown from the eight-week demonstration project to include full day/year services and many program options.

In the mid-1990’s, Early Head Start services for ages birth to 3 year olds were formalized and expanded.

Nationally, Head Start and Early Head Start serves nearly one million low-income children and their families each year.

A History of Suwannee Valley Community Coordinated Child Care
Suwannee Valley 4Cs believes that, supported by a high quality early childhood program, and access to comprehensive services when needed, every parent has the potential to raise successful, happy, and healthy children. Our mission is to advance early childhood school readiness and family self-reliance by providing comprehensive services in a healthy, safe, nurturing, high-quality learning environment that promotes education, professional development, family-community engagement, and program excellence.

We believe that an environment that values and respects each family’s culture and strengths, and that supports and empowers families in areas of need, will produce children and families that are resilient, self-sufficient, and successful. Our role is to provide a safe, healthy, nurturing environment in which each child can develop at his or her own rate, supported by developmentally appropriate materials and activities, and to provide support and empowerment to parents as they fill their roles as their child’s primary and most important teachers.

Since its incorporation in 1985, Suwannee Valley 4Cs has proudly served children and their families through our programs in Columbia, Hamilton, Lafayette and Suwannee counties in Northern Florida.

Our current Board of Directors consists of:

  • Jo Haley, President
  • Dr. Tom Logan, Vice President
  • Kim Sikes, Treasurer
  • Judge Wes Douglas
  • Laura Ann Fouraker-Gardner
  • John Medina
  • Sharon Oliver
  • Jaye Smith
  • Michele Ward, Executive Director

Annual Report
For a pdf of our most recent annual report, please click here.

Community Assessment
For a pdf of our most recent community assessment, please click here.