City of Chattanooga

Head Start and Early Head Start

Family Well-being

Chattanooga Head Start and Early Head Start recognizes that parents are the first and most important teachers of their children. We believe that supporting the wellbeing of our families–in the ways they identify as most helpful–will empower parents to advocate effectively on behalf of their children. Our Family Support Advocates work alongside families to provide them the referrals and resources they need to achieve their goals. Our Advocate’s goal is success for each family, be it with job searches or continuing education or educational excursions that are chosen by parents. 

Crisis and Transition

We recognize that families sometimes find themselves in tough transitions and even crisis. That is why we ensure our team of Family Support Advocates is well informed about all of the resources our community has to offer families during hard times. We partner with most community agencies to provide timely referrals to the services families need. Chattanooga Head Start and Early Head Start believes we are stronger together and ensures that no family falls behind.

Parent Committee and Policy Council

Parent Committee: We believe parent engagement is the key to a child’s success. For this reason, we have Parent Committees that meet monthly to discuss the issues facing their child’s center or classroom. In addition to being engaged with Head Start staff, our parents are encouraged to create a support network with one another by planning educational activities especially for parents. Parents who plan and participate in cultural experiences, workshops, arts and crafts activities, excursions to local attractions, and community service projects together form a tight bond that enriches their experience in Head Start. We believe that parent engagement empowers parents.

Policy Council: Each year some of the parents from the Parent Committees are elected to serve on one our governing bodies, the Policy Council. The majority of the council is comprised of the parents of currently enrolled students. The remaining representatives come from local agencies that serve families with small children. This allows parents to have the majority voice in issues such as financial reporting, new hires and terminations, the approval of new policies and procedures, and long-term planning and vision for our program!


We believe fathers and other positive father figures play a critical role in the life and development of a child. Did you know that studies indicate…

  • Fathers have a direct impact on the well-being and social behavior of their children.
  • A father who has a good relationship with the mother of their children is more likely to be involved and spend time with their children.
  • Children with involved, caring fathers have better educational outcomes.
  • The influence of a father’s involvement on academic achievement extends into adolescence and young adulthood.
  • Children with good relationships with their fathers are less likely to experience depression, and exhibit disruptive behavior.

This is why we offer a variety of unique activities and ways for fathers and other positive male figures to engage with the students at our centers. Be on the lookout for the one that is best for you and don’t forget to give us your ideas!