About Long Island Head Start

L.I. Child and Family Development Services, Inc. dba Long Island Head Start, is a private not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Long Island Head Start offers a variety of service models, depending on the needs of the family. Head Start and Early Head Start programs are based in centers. Some programs offer home-based services that assign dedicated staff who conduct weekly visits to children in their own home and work with the parent as the child’s primary teacher.


Over fifty years ago Head Start began as a program for preschoolers. Early Head Start was created to serve Expectant Mothers, infants, and toddlers. Early Head Start programs are available to the family until the child turns 3 years old and is ready to transition into Head Start or another Pre-K program. Just recently, many Early Head Start programs have been funded to partner directly with existing infant and toddler child care programs, resulting in higher quality services to all children enrolled in the child care program.


Head Start programs support children’s growth and development in a positive learning environment through a variety of services, which include:


Early learning: Children’s readiness for school and beyond is fostered through individualized learning experiences. Through relationships with adults, play, and planned and spontaneous instruction, children grow in many aspects of development. Children progress in social skills and emotional well-being, along with language and literacy learning, and concept development.


Health: Each child’s perceptual, motor, and physical development is supported to permit them to fully explore and function in their environment. All children receive health and development screenings and nutritious meals. Programs connect families with medical, dental, and mental health services to ensure that children are receiving the services they need.

Family well-being: Parents and families are supported in achieving their own goals, such as housing stability, continued education, and financial security. Programs support and strengthen parent-child relationships and engage families around children’s learning and development.


The first Head Start program in Suffolk County began in 1966 to provide children from at-risk families with a pre-school experience to give them an equal opportunity for success in the public school system.


The first programs in Suffolk County were grass-roots summer programs, involving parents and other community volunteers in securing sites, designing programs, staffing the centers and constructing much of the equipment. These Head Start programs were considered pilot projects. They were so successful, both locally and nationally, that funding was appropriated for full-year programs. By 1968, full-year programs were located in twelve target areas throughout Suffolk County.


In the mid-1970’s, the agency began receiving training funds and established a training program for staff. The Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential for teaching staff became available nationally, and Long Island Head Start was among the first to establish a CDA training program in anticipation of future mandates.


Throughout the 1980’s enrollment slowly increased, reaching about 900 by the mid 1980’s. With increased funding, Long Island Head Start began expanding its enrollment and number of sites.

Today, Long Island Head Start serves thousands of children and their families each year in over 20 licensed Head Start and Early Head Start centers throughout Suffolk County. 

Our Mission

The mission of Long Island Head Start is to provide a comprehensive learning environment to children respectful of their cultures and to assist families in reaching self-sufficiency through the combined efforts of parents, community, and staff.


Long Island Head Start staff provides Early Child Development services including:

  • Education
  • Nutrition
  • Health
  • Mental Health
  • Family/Community Partnership
  • Services for children with disabilities
  • Support services to their families
2019 Annual Report
2020 Annual Report
2021 Annual Report
2022 Annual Report
2023 Annual Report

Emergency School Closings

In the event of inclement weather, a recorded message will be available on the auto attendant of Central Administration’s main number (631) 758-5200 in English and Spanish.


You may also refer to the following for closing information:

Program Calendar

2022-2023 Calendar

Long Island Head Start

Central Administration
98 Austin Street, Patchogue, NY 11772
Phone (631) 758-5200
Business Hours Monday-Friday 8:00am-5:00pm

Visit us on Social Media!

Copyright © 2021 Long Island Head Start. All Rights Reserved.