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The FSU Early Head Start Program
Welcome! The Florida State University (FSU) Early Head Start program is a federally funded home visiting program in Gadsden County, Florida that delivers comprehensive services to expectant and low-income families with infants and toddlers.

With its strong commitment to community service, the FSU Center for Prevention & Early Intervention Policy established its Early Head Start program in 1996. Today, this local model continues to demonstrate how quality supports and education empower vulnerable families to achieve greater stability and improve their child’s health, development, and school readiness.

Early Head Start is a federally funded community-based program serving low income families with infants and toddlers and expectant women. The mission of the program is to:
  • Promote healthy prenatal outcomes for pregnant women,
  • Enhance the development of very young children, and
  • Promote healthy family functioning.
FSU Early Head Start provides comprehensive child development services in the home.
  • Our Home Visitors promote positive birth outcomes. We provide helpful information to expectant mothers and fathers. We help them access needed services. We ensure parents prepare safe and healthy home environments for the arrival of their new babies.
  • Our Home Visitors coach parents to be their children’s first teachers. We do support families in the context of their natural environment. We include the whole family, for maximum long-term gains.
  • Our Home Visitors demonstrate how parents can enrich their child’s development and school readiness. We show parents how to use inexpensive and readily available household materials to provide developmentally appropriate early learning experiences.
  • Our Home Visitors help families identify their strengths and set goals for the future for themselves and their children. We help families realize their dreams and work toward those goals. We celebrate their achievements that typically include higher education, employment, and increased financial stability.
  • Our Home Visitors reach out to families who need a network of support and help them make connections with other families. Rural communities often lack transportation resources and have few employment opportunities. Families who are isolated and impoverished need more supports and will thrive when they have a natural place to turn.
  • Our Home Visitors encourage families to participate in Group Socializations, otherwise known as "Play Groups." Play Groups help parents discover new learning activities to do with their children at home. Families meet and form friendships with others in the program. These linkages broaden the networks of support, offer opportunities to contribute and help each other. This leads to a strong sense of belonging within the community.
  • Our Home Visitors inspire confidence and competence in parents. All parents in our program learn more about their child’s development and have an opportunity to help make program decisions as part of the Parent Committee. Some parents step forward as leaders to serve on the program’s Policy Council, and everyone becomes strong advocates for their children and community.

2012-2013 Annual Report


Early Head Start is funded by the Administration for Children and Families,
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.