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High quality early childhood education

at centers or in your home

We're Hiring!

We welcome you to view current openings in our Head Start team

Returning Families!

Was your child enrolled in Head Start? Click below to approve the transfer of their records. 

We Need Your Feedback!

Please help us understand your needs, and concerns by clicking the survey button below.

About Children & Families First

Children & Families First is excited to have been identified by The Office of Head Start (OHS) as the Interim Manager of  the evidence-based Head Start and Early Head Start Programs in Kent and Sussex Counties.  These programs are a natural fit within our statewide continuum of prevention, intervention and healing, building on our 135 years’ of experience delivering outstanding programs and support for children and their families.

About Head Start

Head Start is a comprehensive program that offers quality early education in and out of the home, parenting education, health and social-emotional wellness services (including for women before, during, and after pregnancy), nutrition education, and family support services. Created in 1965, Head Start is a federally funded school readiness program rooted in the idea that parents are their child's most important teachers. ​While we guide the very young as they learn and play, we also share our expertise with parents. By actively participating in their children’s early education, parents enhance their development and create strong family bonds by offering:


We will plan interactive learning experiences to help children grow socially,  emotionally, and intellectually. Children learn and play through activities they initiate on their own and our goal is to help them achieve their full potential.


We will provide vital services such as immunizations; dental, medical, mental health, and nutritional services; as well as early identification of health problems. Our goal is prevention and early intervention that improves a child’s opportunities for success in school and in life.

Parent Engagement: 

We will encourage parents to participate in programs and workshops, serve in leadership roles, and volunteer with activities. Our goal is to help parents be active partners in their child’s education.

Family Support: 

We will connect families to our continuum of evidence-based programs and services that will  help them overcome challenges, build resilience, and pave the way for self-sufficiency and life-long success.

Day Care

Center-Based Services

Early Head Start: Infant and Toddler childcare for children up to age 3 and pregnant women

Head Start: Preschool for children ages 3 to 5 years 

Through our Center-Based Services, each child receives a personalized educational program based on their specific strengths and needs.


Using structured learning activities, play, and group learning experiences, children are prepared to enter kindergarten with learning and social skills that rival that of their classmates.

Home-Based Services 


Early Head Start Home-Based Parenting Education: In-home education program for child and parent or pregnant women

Home-Based Services include weekly 90-minute home visits and two play group activities per month for parents and their children. Our home visitors are knowledgeable and experienced professionals who can answer questions about:

  • Child development

  • Early childhood education

  • Principles of child health, safety & nutrition

  • Adult learning principles

  • Family dynamics


Center Locations - Coming Soon!

Children & Families First will be offering a variety of center-based care options throughout Kent and Sussex Counties. Because of COVID-19, plans for re-opening centers are being developed carefully. We are working closely with the Office of Head Start to determine the best path forward, taking into account the safety of children, families, and staff. 

Have Questions About Our Re-Opening Plans?

Click on the button below for answers

Our services are FREE to those who qualify

If you’re looking for a quality early childhood center or home based services for your child, Children & Families First accepts applications all year. Eligibility is based on family income at or below the poverty level. Families in other situations — including homelessness, children in foster care, or receiving SSI or TANF — are also eligible.


CONTACT US: 302-389-7241

Enroll In Our Family-Centered Programs Today!

Step 1: Complete An Application

Download the enrollment application below and save it to your computer.

Once you have it filled out, attach it to an email and send it us:

If you need assistance with your application, or have questions, contact us 302-389-7241

Step 2: Prepare For Your Enrollment Meeting

Once we receive your application, we will contact you to set up an enrollment meeting. Here is what you will need to bring:


You will need to provide a copy of at least one the documents below: 

Award letter (amount received) for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

Award letter (amount received) for Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

W-2 form or 1040 tax information

Two recent pay stubs

Unemployment statement

You will also need to provide a copy of at least one of the documents listed below:

Certified birth certificate

Hospital birth certificate

Health department birth certificate

Medicaid card

Learn More About Our Other Programs & Services

To Support Children And their Families