Benefits of the Head Start preschool program include improvements in social skills, cognitive development and language skills. The program provides access to low-income families who may not otherwise have the means to send their children to preschool.
Head Start gives many young participants an academic boost, preparing the children for kindergarten by teaching them introductory math and reading skills. They also learn how school works so they are prepared to follow directions, work with other students and walk in lines when they enter kindergarten.
Head Start participants may benefit physically as well. Children who attend Head Start have a better chance of eating healthy foods, seeing a dentist and having a lower BMI.
Parents also receive benefits when their children attend Head Start. The parents receive guidance from the program to help their children at home. Parents learn to create stimulating home environments and do more learning activities with their children, and they are less likely to use physical forms of punishment. The parents of Head Start children are more likely to achieve higher levels of education than their peers with similar backgrounds.
The specific outcomes from attending Head Start vary from one child to the next. Some children may advance more in academic areas than their peers in Head Start.