Sequatchie VAlley EARLY HEAD START

  • Although Early Head Start (EHS) has been around for over 25 years, Sequatchie Valley Head Start welcomed Early Head Start to our area in fall of 2015. Sequatchie Valley Head Start was awarded a 1.4-million-dollar grant by the federal government in March of 2015 and began serving children a short 6 months later. We currently serve 88 infants, toddlers and twos in Bledsoe, Grundy, Marion, and Rhea County. Should space become available in Sequatchie County in the near future, we hope to request funding to serve an additional 24-32 children and their families.


  • Early Head Start provides support to low-income families and is designed to enable their parents to fulfill their roles as parents and to move toward self-sufficiency. Sequatchie Valley Head Start provides free, center-based care for very young children from August to Mid- June each year. Our program promotes the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development of infants and toddlers through safe and developmentally enriching caregiving.


  • We proudly employ a highly qualified and caring team of educators. 40% of our EHS teachers hold an Infant/Toddler Child Development Credential (CDA) while the other 60% hold an associate’s degree or higher in early childhood education.  Unlike typical childcare programs, our teacher/child ratio is low with one teacher assigned to care for four children.


  • Our indoor space offers children age appropriate furnishings and materials designed to promote the development of each child. Our outdoor spaces are beautifully designed offering children safe play equipment with soft resilient surfacing.

The Early Years are Important!

A child’s brain undergoes an incredible period of growth from birth to three—producing more than a million neural connections each second. The development of the brain is influenced by many factors, including a child’s relationships, experiences and environment. Early Head Start offers infant, toddlers and twos positive learning experiences and environments that support Serve and Return. Learn more about how Sequatchie Valley Head Start is working to support early childhood brain development using Lena Grows.

Harvard University first coined the term Serve and Return.

Serve and return interactions shape brain architecture. When an infant or young child babbles, gestures, or cries, and an adult responds appropriately with eye contact, words, or a hug, neural connections are built and strengthened in the child’s brain that support the development of communication and social skills. Much like a lively game of tennis, volleyball, or Ping-Pong, this back-and-forth is both fun and capacity-building. When caregivers are sensitive and responsive to a young child’s signals and needs, they provide an environment rich in serve and return experiences.

Watch the short videos below to learn how Serve and Return shapes your baby’s brain.


The source of this video is the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University:


The mission of Sequatchie Valley Head Start is to create a nurturing place where children, families and staff can work through community partnerships to exceed Head Start's national goals.


HEAD START 3-5 yrs