Children’s Services Program Information

CCA began offering Head Start program services in 1979 in Carteret County to 95 qualified, pre-school aged chidren. The program expanded in 1999 to provide Early Head Start program services to infants and toddlers, birth to two years old. The early Head Start/Early Head Start program at CCA is funded by the Administration for Children and Families Office of Head Start for 617 Head Start and 142 Early Head Start children through either a center-based or home-based program option.  Center-based services are provided in Carteret, Craven, and Pamlico counties, and at three elementary schools, (in specific classrooms) in partnership with Craven County Schools and Craven County Family Literacy.  All centers are Five-star rated, licensed facilities.  Home-based services are provided also, in Carteret, Craven and Pamlico Counties, and in Jones County only.

Our primary goal is to provide the highest quality in comprehensive services to children and their families to help children to be successful in their transition to kindergarten. Services include: Education and special education services, family services, parent involvement, health (developmental screenings), nutrition (meals and snacks), and mental health (resources and referrals). Child development services are provided to eligible children five days per week, up to 7.0 hours per day for children enrolled. The Head Start program operates September-May, and Early Head Start is year-round. Children enrolled in the Home-Based option also receive comprehensive services to support and educate children and their parents. In-home education services are provided to children once per week for 1.5 hours per session for 46 weeks for Home-Based Early Head Start children, and 32 weeks for Home-Based Head Start children. Learning is facilitated by a qualified home visitor, using a research-based, developmentally appropriate curriculum that enhances parent-child interactions, family values and cultural traditions. Children and parents participate in at least two group socializations on a monthly basis, to foster a classroom experience for early learners.

Eligibility is determined based on standardized selection criteria, which includes household income and other factors to ensure that the neediest of needy children are served. Families with children in foster care, special needs and/or experiencing homelessness are strongly encouraged to apply. Individuals may contact the Head Start center in their county of residence for an appointment to complete an application for child enrollment. (Interpreters are available for Limited English Proficient (LEP) families).

Head Start/Early Head Start Child Development Centers by County

  • Beaufort Child Development Center, 201 Professional Park Drive, Beaufort, NC 28516 (252) 728-2786 (serves Head Start and Early Head Start)
  • Duffyfield Child Development Center, 1200 Myrtle Avenue, New Bern, NC 28560 (252) 637-4119
  • FR Danyus Child Development Center, 622 West Street, New Bern, NC (252) 637-1700
  • Godette Child Development Center, 125 Old Godette School Road, Havelock, NC (252) 447-5059
  • James W. Smith Elementary School** 150 Koonce Town Road, Cove City, NC 28523 (252) 244-3226
  • Vanceboro-Farm Life Elementary School** 2000 Farm Life Avenue, Vanceboro, NC 28586 (252) 244-3226

(All five sites provide NC Pre-K services to eligible four-year-olds in partnership with Craven County Family Literacy/Craven Public Schools, and Craven Smart Start)

  • Havelock Elementary School* 201 Cunningham Boulevard, Havelock, NC 28532 (252) 444-5106
  • Pamlico Child Development Center, 11313 NC Highway 55 East, Grantsboro, NC 28529 (252) 745-0104 (serves Head Start/Early Head Start)(Provides NC Pre-K services to eligible four-year-olds in partnership with Pamlico Public Schools)

*In collaboration with Craven Public Schools   **In collaboration with Craven County Family Literacy/Craven Public Schools

Eligibility for Head Start or Early Head Start Enrollment:

  • Families living in Carteret, Craven, Jones or Pamlico Counties who meet income eligibility as determined by the Federal Poverty Guidelines established by the United States Department of Health and Human Services. (See table below).
  • A child with a documented disability may be determined eligible for enrollment regardless of the household income for the family.
  • A child in foster care may be eligible for enrollment regardless of the household income for the family.
  • Children from families receiving public assistance (TANF or SSI).
  • To meet the enrollment criteria for the Head Start/Early Head Start program, families must meet the poverty guidelines at time of application.
  • Families must present documentation to demonstrate that they are living at or below the guidelines listed below.

2019 Head Start Family Income Eligibility Guidelines
(130% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines)

Family Size

Annual Family Income















For each additional family member add:


  • Head Start: Services provided for 3, 4, & 5 year-olds not yet eligible for kindergarten
  • Early Head Start: Services for Infants and Toddlers 0-3 year-olds
  • Child Care Services: Before and after school care for infants (select centers), toddlers and preschool-age children; fees are subsidized based on household income
  • North Carolina Pre-Kindergarten (NC Pre K): State-funded program designed to prepare 4 year-olds in need of kindergarten readiness services  

The Family Development Services Program is comprised of activities that promote the achievement of goals for individuals and families. Promoting Parent, Family and Community Engagement the primary components of Family Development Services are Self-Sufficiency Family Development and Head Start Case Management. Self-Sufficiency Family Development is available to individuals/families that meet the poverty guidelines and willing to work towards a set of measurable, attainable goals that will help move them toward economic independence. Individuals must be capable of being involved in their own progress while working with a case manager. Within the Self-Sufficiency program, individuals who are either elderly and/or disabled may be eligible for assistance if they are moving into subsidized housing and receiving some type of income (i.e. SSI Disability, Social Security, retirement/pension, etc.). The head of household must sign a Family Contract Agreement and meet all program requirements to receive any type of monetary assistance through the program. 

Head Start Case Management is available to families with children enrolled in the Head Start/Early Head Start program. Head Start families in crises situations generally are identified by the child’s teacher, Disabilities/Mental Health Manager, Health and Nutrition Manager, Education Services Manager, Bilingual Resource Coordinator, Center Manager, Family Data Technician or Family and Community Partnership Manager or other staff that works directly with the child and his or her family. Families participating in Case Management must sign a Family Partnership Agreement and work with a Family Development Specialist for goal achievement. Case Management families may be eligible for financial assistance only if they are eligible for the Self-Sufficiency program. 

The Family Development Services Program also provides workshops and seminars to help families and individuals to help themselves. These workshops are sponsored with partner agencies. Participants are required to attend at least two per year to remain in compliance with the program. Topics include financial literacy, housing resources, home ownership preparation, family advocacy, stress management, positive parenting, healthy relationships, applying for financial aid and other college resources, finding and retaining employment, handling legal issues and more. Participants are also required to attend Participant Orientation at least once per year, as announced. 

Family Development Services is funded annually through the Community Services Block Grant, through the Office of Economic Opportunity/Office of Economic Family Security.

Comprehensive Services – Program Components

Disabilities/Mental Health Services Component

The Disabilities and Mental Health team ensures an inclusive environment for all children regardless of ability. We partner with families to provide individualized services for children having special needs. Individual services can include modifications to the classroom environment, instructional materials, curriculum implementation, and lesson planning. Developing adaptations and accommodations for a child with special needs is a continuous process that involves the child’s parents, teachers, support staff, and other relevant professionals such as therapists. The first step is to assess the child's abilities and the classroom environment where the child will be spending time. Once the goals and objectives are identified and expectations for the child's participation in that environment are established, the team selects or creates adaptations and accommodations that address those needs. Once implemented, their effectiveness is assessed on an ongoing basis and revised, as needed. Adaptations can make the difference between a child merely being present in the class and a child being actively involved.

Additionally, the Disabilities and Mental Health team facilitates developmental and social-emotional screenings for all newly enrolled children within 45 days of enrollment in order to identify potential special needs or to develop individualized instruction to help children strengthen a skill. The team also partners with a licensed mental health professional to conduct classroom observations for our program and to provide consultations to further enhance the skills of classroom teachers in the early detection of children who may have behavioral and/or developmental problems. Furthermore, our teaching staff receives ongoing training opportunities, assistance, and support to help children have a successful experience and develop school readiness skills. 
Some additional services include parent supports and resources by way of parent meetings, trainings, literature, and linkage with community resources.


Coastal Community Action provides our Head Start and Early Head Start children with a variety of learning experiences designed to meet their individual needs. Our education staff members receive ongoing professional development in early childhood education by participating in workshops, trainings and continuing education classes offered by qualified professionals. The classroom teachers plan daily activities and provide a safe environment where children can learn and grow. Children’s growth and development is evaluated through a research based, reliable and valid ongoing assessment system. Our classrooms use the Creative Curriculum and are monitored many times throughout the year to ensure a quality environment. Our enriched learning environment encourages each child’s social, emotional, physical, language and cognitive development while reflecting and celebrating the ethnic and cultural diversity of our community. Children experience activities in art, science, music, blocks, manipulatives, water and sand play, dramatic play and much more. We strongly believe that children “learn through play” and are developing the skills they need in to succeed in school and later in life.


CCA believes that families are the bedrock for child development, stressing the importance of the parents as the child’s first teacher. With this in mind, we affirm that helping families stabilize, to identify and achieve goals and aspirations and create a sustaining environment to support their children’s success in school is our main objective. Family and Community Services offers an array of services, including case management services to Head Start families in crisis, self-sufficiency services for low-income families in our community, individualized goal-setting partnerships between parents and teachers and supportive services for dual-language learners.


The mission of Head Start Health Services is to improve children’s health, address health disparities, and increase health provider outreach. Health services provide resources to families to assure that children have an ongoing source of health care that can be accessed long after a child leaves from Head Start. Screening procedures are sensitive to the child’s cultural, linguistic, and developmental background. Our program understands that a healthy child who has access to community resources is more successful in school.  
North Carolina Child Care Licensing and Federal Head Start Performance Standards require that all children receive health screenings and updated immunizations within 30 days of initial enrollment. Federal Head Start Performance Standards also require a dental exam within 90 days of starting school. When health concerns are found, they are addressed in a timely manner and are assessed by health providers. Our program will provide resources and guidance to assure that the family’s needs are met.

Health services provide the following support:

  • Wellness visits According to the Early Periodic Schedule Diagnostic Treatment periodicity schedule that includes age appropriate vision, hearing, physical examination, immunization, hematocrit or hemoglobin, lead, blood pressure, and dental.
  • Medical and dental home
  • Access to medical insurance
  • Track health progress
  • Parent involvement

Health Services Advisory Committee (HSAC)

Members include Head Start parents, health and human service professionals, and staff. The committee provides guidelines to accessing health, dental, nutrition and mental health services, adequacy of Early Periodic Schedule Diagnostic Treatment services, changes in Medicaid or Tri-care, and other topics that address the well-being of a child. Collaborative partnerships are key to prevent and treat medical conditions and illnesses. Together with parents, staff, and health professionals in the community we improve the lives of the children we serve.


Nutrition Services are an integral part of the larger system of services provided by Head Start, playing an important role supporting the health and nutrition needs for children in conjunction with early childhood developmental goals of the program. Nutrition services include:

  • Planning and analyzing daily menus to ensure nutritious meals for Head Start Children
  • Creating special diets for overweight children to teach healthy eating habits to combat childhood obesity
  • Reviewing individual child and family nutrition data
  • Developing individualized nutrition plans for children to meet their nutrition needs
  • Partnering with staff, parents, and medical professionals to set goals about nutrition-related issues for children with special dietary needs
  • Providing nutrition education, training and counseling to staff and parents/guardians
  •  Overseeing and monitoring food health, safety and sanitation standards and requirements
  • In conjunction with Health Services, assessing children’s eating and growth patterns to determine growth problems, anemia, overweight/obesity and other health problems related to inadequate and improper eating habits. 

Family-Style Dining

Head Start children participate in family-style dining during each meal served. Family-style dinning is the meal service prescribed by the Office of Head Start which allows teachers, caregivers, and children to eat together. Through this type of meal setting children learn to serve themselves and to practice appropriate behaviors for an enjoyable dining experience. Also, this method is ideal for providing a conversational environment where children can develop social skills, practice appropriate table manners, learn how to share and also learn good eating habits. Family-style meals allow children to identify and be introduced to new foods, new tastes, and new menusStudies show that children are more willing to try a small serving of different foods when they see other children trying new foods. Additionally, children may feel more in control to judge their hunger and fullness throughout the meal, knowing that more food is within easy reach.


Transportation is provided for Head Start/NC Pre-K children residing in Carteret, Craven and Pamlico Counties as approved by the Family and Community Partnership Manager and Transportation Manager. Transportation for pre-school children enrolled in Head Start/Early Head Start also provides additional opportunities for active learning for young children. Learning activities are provided by bus drivers and bus monitors through music and hand movements during bus rides to and from child development centers. Head Start Bus Drivers must meet all state and federal driver safety and CDL requirements and along with Bus Monitors must consistently demonstrate all safety and Head Start Performance Standards while children are in their care. Children also learn pedestrian safety, seat-belt safety and school bus rider’s safety and procedures. Daily routine checks of buses are conducted before children are boarded, and immediately after all children have been released to an authorized adult, parent or guardian with photo identification.


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A common thread through all of our services, be they Family Services, Senior Services, or Housing Services, is that we help change lives by providing needed resources and support. Coastal Community Action, Inc. provides needed services to thousands of residents in our region annually.