Information About Our Services – Baltimore City Head Start

Launched in 1965, Head Start is a nationwide, federally funded program that provides a comprehensive range of early childhood development and intervention services for pre-school children and their families. Head Start primarily provides services for children from low-income families and children with disabilities. Catholic Charities’ Head Start programs serve over 800 children and 700 families in Baltimore and surrounding areas.

Catholic Charities’ Head Start of Baltimore City (CCHSBC)

Since 1990, Catholic Charities has provided Head Start services in south and southwest Baltimore. We promote excellence by providing holistic services, partnering with parents and other community organizations, supporting continuous quality improvement of staff and using up-to-date research to implement developmentally appropriate programs for each child.

Read our 2018 Annual Report


The CCHSBC staff recognizes that parents are the children’s first and most important teachers. They work closely with parents to help children ages 3 to 5 develop academic skills, as well as confidence, self-reliance and social skills. In addition, services are available to assist parents with developing and achieving personal, educational and employment goals for themselves and their family.

CCHSBC provides children with activities to help them grow mentally, socially, emotionally and physically. The curriculum promotes child-directed, hands-on learning that is reinforced by parents at home.

Children who attend our Head Start programs in Baltimore City participate in a variety of activities in all areas of child development. We offer a learning environment in which children can develop socially, intellectually, physically and emotionally. The Creative Curriculum promotes hands-on learning. A fundamental element of Head Start is providing basic health care for all children. Children and families also receive mental health services through the program and referrals to community-based providers.

Another important part of the program includes the identification and coordination of community resources that address the social, educational, health and economic needs of families. Each child receives at least one hot meal daily. Parents and children also receive hands-on nutrition education.

We offer your child love, acceptance, understanding, the opportunity to learn, and the opportunity to experience success.

CCHSBC uses The Creative Curriculum® as a framework for preparing children for success in elementary school and uses the same tools as the public school system for individual child assessment. Each child is assessed three times a year and development plans are written, implemented and incorporated into the classroom goals for each child.

Children ages three to five from families with low incomes, according to the poverty guidelines established by the federal government, are eligible for Head Start. Children must reside in Baltimore City, and we welcome and serve all children regardless of race, religion or disability.

A fundamental element of the program is the provision of basic health care for all children, including up-to-date immunizations, health and dental examinations at regular intervals and health education workshops for parents.

Each child received at least one hot meal daily. Meals are served family style, further contributing to the development and socialization of the children. In addition, parents and children receive hands-on nutrition education.

Head Start is designed to build on family strengths, focus on positive mental health practices and emphasize self-esteem and ego supports to both children and parents. Some on-site mental health care is provided, as well as assistance in locating mental health resources.

Head Start is designed to serve ALL children; more than 10% of the children served have disabilities. These children receive the services, therapies and intervention necessary to successfully participate in the regular education portion of the program, and eventually, in mainstream classrooms.

Parents are included in policy- and decision-making processes that govern the program. Parents volunteer in the classroom and receive training and support for achieving continuing education, employment and personal development goals. Parenting education and support reinforces the important concept that the parent is the child’s first teacher.

An essential part of the program includes the identification and coordination of community resources that address the social, educational, health and economic needs of families. Head Start also provides advocacy for families and crisis intervention.