West Central Minnesota Communities Action, Inc.

Early Head Start

Program that serves infants and toddlers under the age of 3, and expectant families. Provides intensive, comprehensive child development and family support services to low-income infants and toddlers and their families and pregnant women


Early Head Start programs are designed to nurture healthy attachments between parent and child (and child and caregiver). Services encompass the full range of a family's needs from pregnancy - age 3.

Early Head Start programs provide family-centered comprehensive services for low-income families with very young children. These programs are designed to promote the development of children, and to enable their parents to fulfill their roles as parents and to move toward self-sufficiency.

Early Head Start programs provide similar services as preschool Head Start programs, but they are tailored for the unique needs of infants and toddlers. Early Head Start programs promote the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development of infants and toddlers through safe and developmentally enriching caregiving. This prepares children for continued growth and development and eventual success in school and life.

Services vary in every community and may include:

  • Evidence-based home visiting
  • Center-based or family child care options in some local communities
  • Socialization experiences for children and families
  • Leadership, advocacy, and training supports for families
  • Coordination with public schools, and Early Childhood Special Education and community resources

The goal is to deliver services to children and families in core areas of early learning, health, and family well-being while engaging parents as partners every step of the way.

Local Head Start services are delivered by public and private nonprofit and for-profit agencies supported by local, state, and federal funding.


  • Area Served by County
    • Grant County
  • Evidence-Based Programs
    • Early Head Start
  • Organization Type
    • Community Action Partnership
  • Payment
    • Free / no cost to eligible clients
  • Specialization
    • People with low income


Eligibility guidelines ensure that families with the greatest need are identified and enrolled as soon as possible.

Health and Human Services (HHS) Poverty Guidelines are used to determine income eligibility for participation in Early Head Start programs. Programs establish selection criteria based on local eligibility factors.

An expectant family or child is eligible if:

  • The family's income is equal to or below the poverty line; or
  • The family is eligible for or, in the absence of child care, would be potentially eligible for public assistance; including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) child-only payments; participation in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or
  • The child is experiencing homeless; or
  • The child is in foster care. Foster children are eligible regardless of their foster family's income

Local programs may determine additional selection criteria to be responsive to community needs.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Serves families with children in Douglas, Grant, Otter Tail, Pope, Stevens, Traverse and Wadena counties


No cost to participating families


411 1st St SE, Elbow Lake, MN, 56531

Area Served

Elbow Lake and surrounding communities

Phone Numbers

  • Primary Contact for this program: 218-685-4486


Other Locations

Other Services at this Location

  • Head Start Program that supports children's growth from ages 3 - 5 through services that support early learning and development, health, and family well-being.

Last Update