Title: Head Start Programs

Qualla Boundary Head Start and Early Head Start has extra seats for a 3-day social emotional training and 2-day reliability training directed at ages birth to three with the Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (SCEFEL). The social emotional learning training will be 9:45 am - 4:30 pm, August 22-24. The reliability training will be August 25-26. Contact Jennifer Oskins at 828-359-3009 or jennoski@nc-cherokee.com. CSEFEL.vanderbilt.edu

Head Start is a federally funded program, a comprehensive child development and preschool program for children ages birth to five years from low income families. Head Start also serves children with special needs.

There are Head Start programs in every state. Locally, Head Start is operated through Cherokee Tribal Child Care Services on the Qualla Boundary at the Dora Reed Center and the Big Cove Center.

Head Start provides children
with activities that help them grow mentally, socially, emotionally, and physically. Head Start staff offer your child love, acceptance, understanding, and opportunities for success in preparing them with school readiness skills. Head Start children socialize with others, solve problems, and have many experiences which help them become self-confident.

head start worker reading with young boyWHAT DOES HEAD START DO FOR PARENTS?
Head Start recognizes that as parents you are the first and foremost teachers of your children. Teachers and staff will welcome your involvement and will work as partners with you to help your child develop skills needed for school readiness. Written information, group meetings, and workshops are also available to all parents, guardians, etc.

There are extended hours for parents that are working or going to school.

head start worker showing child how to writeWHAT DOES HEAD START COST AND HOW CAN I ENROLL MY CHILD?

There is no cost for Head Start programs.

To apply come by the Dora Reed Center during center hours to pick up an application, or download the application here, or call 828-359-6592 for more information.

head start worker with children


  head start worker in kitchen center with young boy

Comprehensive health screenings for each child, and follow-up treatment if needed. Staff will assist parents with agencies that pro­vide needed services such as rental assistance, Medicaid, food stamps, employment or educa­tional opportunities, and services for children with special needs.

head start worker holding young girlEducation:

• Developmental screenings

• Speech screenings

• Individualized activities

• Services to children with special needs

• Inclusion - therapy class

• State-approved curriculum

• Letterland

• School readiness skills

• Planned transition activities into kindergarten

Social Emotional:

• Mental health services

• Behavior services

• Disability services

head start worker and toddler with markerNutrition:

• Dietitian approved menus

• Healthy meals and snacks

• Nutrition assessments

• Consultation with dietitian


• Hearing screenings

• Vision screenings

• Dental exams

• Growth assessments

head start worker helping child with puzzleParent Training:

• Fire safety

• Nutrition

• Child abuse /

• Health

• How to budget

• Dental health care

• Discipline techniques for young children

• How to obtain legal services


Dora Reed Childcare building


897 Acquoni Road
Cherokee, NC 28719

Tina Saunooke,
Early Education Director

828-359-6589 (Main)
828-359-6590 (Appts)
828-497-4212 (Fax)

Office Hours:
Monday - Friday
7:30 am - 4:30 pm

Extended Hours:
Monday - Friday
7:00 - 7:30 am
4:30 - 5:15 pm

head start logo

early head start logo