EOA Head Start / Early Head Start

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Sequestration Cuts Result in Tough Decisions for EOA Head Start

FAYETTEVILLE, AR., (June 25, 2013) – The EOA of Washington County Head Start program announced Tuesday that the agency’s Board of Directors and Policy Council approved the closure of the Willow Heights Head Start Center in Fayetteville and the closure of one (1) classroom at the West Washington County Head Start in Lincoln.

The measures were taken as a means to reduce enrollment numbers to account for the Head Start program’s $154,968 (5.27%) mandatory budget reduction for the 2013-2014 school year.

“The Fayetteville Housing Authority has been a wonderful community partner for many years, and this was a very difficult decision,” said EOA’s executive director, Mike Lanier. “This past school year, we had to close our programs down 13 days early, furlough staff and blend some positions in order to make the cuts required as a result of sequestration.”

Brenda Zedlitz, director of children’s services, said strategic planning with the Board of Directors and the Policy Council, which includes parent representatives, included a thorough review of 2013 Program Self-Assessment data and the 2013 Community Assessment data. They utilized the information to determine community needs and where the cuts would have the least negative impact.

“We know that parents depend on our Head Start programs and we have spent a great deal of time going over the data to ensure we are making the best decisions, given the difficult circumstances,” Zedlitz said.


Washington County Head Start and Early Head Start has started its recruitment season for the 2013-2014 school year.  We are looking for new and returning families who qualify to apply for enrollment with us online!  Go to www.EOAHeadStart.org and click on the Pre Application menu button to sign up today!

Washington County Head Start provides high-quality developmental and preschool education for children up to age 5, as well as support services for each child’s family.  The goals of Head Start and Early Head Start:

  • Enhance children’s growth and development.
  • Strengthen families as the primary nurturer of children.
  • Provide children with educational, health, and nutritional services.
  • Link children and families to needed community services.
  • Ensure well-managed programs involving parents in developing policy.

Since 1966, thousands of low income families in Northwest Arkansas have benefited from the Head Start program. Research shows that the national program improves children’s lives over the long term. Once recent study followed Head Start graduates into adulthood and compared their lives with the lives of people of similar background who had not been in Head Start programs. The results were striking. Compared with the control group, only about one fourth as many Head Start graduates left school before graduation. Only one third as many had been arrested.

Giving our children a good start in life benefits not only the families of Head Start participants, but our entire community.

EOA administers Head Start and Early Head Start programs at 8 centers in Washington County. This means that more of the program’s funds can go to direct service provision. The staff of Washington County Head Start programs partner with parents to develop family goals and to identify community resources.

The children in Head Start receive care and instruction in safe, interesting spaces with outdoor playgrounds. Field tips, healthy habits, and respect for diversity are all part of the Head Start program at every center.

How to Apply

Pregnant women, infants and toddlers, and children up to 4 years of age may apply for Head Start services. Eligibility for Head Start programs depends on income guidelines:

Persons in family Poverty guideline
1 $11,170
2 $15,130
3 $19,090
4 $23,050
5 $27,010
6 $30,970
7 $34,930
8 $38,890

For families/households with more than 8 persons, add $3,960 for each additional person.

In order to apply for services, bring these documents to the central office at 1643 Huntsville Rd. in Fayetteville:

  • Child’s birth certificate
  • Child’s up to date shot record, incuding TB test for applicants over 1 year of age
  • Proof of income for all related adults in the household

Households with income over the limits may apply, if space is available.


1643 East Huntsville Road
(479) 521-5571

800 Airport Avenue
(479) 751-9461

2052 South Garland Avenue
(479) 443-1840

901 South Mitchell Avenue
(479) 824-5995

2350 West Old Farmington Road
(479) 582-5260

901 South Mitchell Avenue
(479) 267-2862

Wood Avenue Early Head Start
1225 South Wood Avenue
(479) 571-4710

Oak Avenue Early Head Start
500 Oak Avenue
(479) 751-4430