MEO Head Start

Head Start is 87% federally funded for a total of $3,189,593 and 13% funded from the County of Maui.

Head Start Services:

MEO Head Start serves children and families on Maui and Moloka’i. Services are provided at no cost to eligible families that are unhoused or have temporary shelter, are on TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), SSI (Supplemental Security Income), or SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), or meet 100% federal income poverty guidelines for the State of Hawaii and foster children.

About Us and What We Do:

Head Start was founded in 1965 as a part of President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty. Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc. (MEO), a Community Action Program also formed as part of Johnson’s War on Poverty, received funding to operate the Head Start program for Maui County in 1965.

MEO Head Start supports children and families, providing a quality and comprehensive service that impacts early development and school readiness success. All of our children are enrolled in the U.S. Department of Agriculture subsidized breakfast and lunch program.

Families with young children on Maui and Moloka‘i experience similar challenges faced by impoverished communities all over the United States. Stressors include: lack of access to affordable housing and mental health services: limited access to proper health care; substance abuse; domestic violence; and dwindling resources to address these inequities. These risk factors have the potential to impact a child’s ability to succeed in school and life.

The Head Start model includes a two-generational approach, providing services to the preschool child and his/her family. Head Start services are designed to be inclusive of the family, promoting engagement within the classroom and in the community. Parents are regarded as their child’s first and most influential teacher. The goal is to connect families to community resources to meet their individual needs for stability in health, safety, and wellness.

MEO Head Start offers services at various locations on Maui, including Haiku, Kahului, Kihei, Lahaina, Makawao, and Wailuku. Services also are offered on Moloka‘i at the Kaunakakai Head Start center. In total, MEO Head Start is funded to serve 180 children with 20 keiki per classroom.

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