September has arrived and enrollment for our 2021-2022 Head Start Program is open!

Head Start is a national program committed to giving every child the opportunity to excel in school and life after school. Our Head Start program is home-based and locally designed to meet the needs of families in our Island community.  We are committed to helping our entire community be as vibrant, strong and healthy as it can be.

Have you heard about Head Start, aren’t quite sure what the program entails?

You’re not alone! We connected with Head Start program coordinator, Cindy Flanders, to debunk five common Head Start Myths. 

Myth #1: Head Start is only for children

Head Start supports the entire family. While one of Head Start’s goals is to help prepare children for school, our program believes that supporting the needs and goals of the whole family builds strong, nurturing relationships, strength, and resilience in the family- all key factors to successful transitions to kindergarten.

Myth #2: Head Start is the same as Project Headway

Project Headway is Martha’s Vineyard Public School’s public preschool program.  Project Headway provides preschool services to children with and without disabilities.  While Head Start works closely with some families whose children attend Project Headway as a way to bridge the gap between services at home and at school, our Head Start program is not affiliated with the MVYPS or Project Headway.

Myth #3 – Head Start is only for children with disabilities

Head Start is a program designed for all families and children of all abilities who are interested in supporting their child’s development and learning. 

Myth #4 – Head Start is a preschool program

While the vast majority of Head Start programs are center-based, Martha’s Vineyard Head Start is a home-based program designed to meet the needs of our island community. We work with families to find a day and time that they can devote to Head Start over the course of the year and schedule many of our other activities to accommodate work schedules as much as possible. Our Head Start team recognizes that parents are their children’s first and most important teachers and that the home is a child’s most important learning environment. We work with parents to support them in understanding that children are always learning!

Myth #5 – Head Start is only for low-income families. 

While income is one factor that can impact eligibility, Head Start programs can also enroll children from families that have incomes above the Poverty Guidelines.  Other eligibility factors include children in foster care, families impacted by housing insecurity, and children from families receiving public assistance. 

If you are unsure if you would be eligible, we encourage you to apply and start the conversation today!


Contact Cindy Flanders, Head Start Program Coordinator at or 508-693-7900 x321