Head Start

HOPES Head Start Program provides care to children ages three through five years of age in a center –based program option.

The Head Start program (for children ages three to five) promotes school readiness for children in low-income families by providing comprehensive educational, health, nutritional, and social services. Parents play a large role in the programs, both as primary educators of their children and as participants in administering the programs locally.

Head Start programs provide pre-literacy and literacy experiences in a multi-cultural environment. Either the Tools of the Mind Curriculum (in Hoboken) or High Scope Curriculum (in Plainfield) is used and aligned with the New Jersey Preschool Teaching and Learning Standards. An interdisciplinary team of family members, teachers, specialists and advocates work together to ensure children receive the care and education needed for future success. Child Outcomes are tracked in the following areas:


1. Language Development
2. Literacy Skills
3. Mathematics Knowledge & Awareness
4. Science Knowledge & Awareness
5. Creative Arts Expression
6. Social & Emotional Development
7. Positive approaches to Learning
8. Physical Health & Development


Eligibility for Head Start Program: Families with children ages 3 through 5 years that meet Federal Eligibility Guidelines (100% of poverty level) as well as children with special needs, without regard to family income, may enroll in the Head Start program.



Both Early Head Start and Head Start Programs encompass a variety of services to family and child which include:

• Developmental Screenings
• Assessments
• Health Screenings
• Workshops and Training
• Parent/Child Field Trips
• Mental Health Services
• Referrals to Healthcare Providers & Other Community Resources
• Father Involvement Activities
• Children are served nutritious meals in all programs
• Home visits


Early Head Start/Head Start Program Eligibility Requirements

In order to qualify for either the Early Head Start or the Head Start Program, a family must be a resident of either Plainfield or Hoboken in New Jersey, and have a child that is age eligible for services -- Birth to five years of age and expectant women for Early Head Start, or three to five years old for Head Start. In order to qualify, a family must also have an annual household income (before taxes) that is at or below 100% of Federal Poverty Guidelines, as follows:

Family Size 01 Max Income $11,880

Family Size 02 Max Income $16,020

Family Size 03 Max Income $20,160

Family Size 04 Max Income $24,300

Family Size 05 Max Income $28,440

Family Size 06 Max Income $32,580

Family Size 07 Max Income $36,730

Family Size 08 Max Income $40,890


For families/households with more than 8 persons, add $4,020 for each additional person



All of HOPES’ Early Childhood Programs include the following Developmental Services:

Health & Nutrition Services

The objective of the Health & Nutrition Services Content Area is to ensure that, through collaboration and partnerships with families, staff, and health professionals, all children's health and developmental concerns are identified and referrals are made for further diagnosis and treatment. Children and families are linked to sources of continuous and accessible medical and dental care to meet their basic health needs.

• The staff is trained to identify health problems and refer to the appropriate agency for follow up. Staff is also trained to conduct vision and hearing screenings.

• Immunizations are kept current through careful monitoring and referrals to health agencies.

• A Health Services Advisory Committee brings together local health care professionals, Head Start staff, parents, and local community residents. This team assists with the planning, implementation, and evaluation of services.

USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)

The Head Start/Early Head Start Programs are required to provide 1/2 to 2/3 of the child's daily nutritional needs, depending upon the length of the program day. Meals are prepared on site and are reflective of the cultures served and all menus are planned by a registered dietitian. Special diets and food allergies are accommodated as specified by physicians. In Early Head Start, infants/toddlers are fed on demand. Menus are developed to meet each infant/toddlers nutritional needs.


Child Wellness Services

HOPES CAP, Inc. Early Head Start/Head Start programs offer services to the child and family in the area of mental health and disabilities. There are three full time Mental Health and Disabilities Specialists on staff that support the teachers and families by providing strategies to assist the child in having a successful school experience. The Mental Health/Disabilities Specialists offer play therapy, individual, group, and/or family therapy to address various issues, such as challenging behaviors, postpartum depression, parent separation, grief, ADHD, etc. to children and families enrolled in Early Head Start and Head Start.



Parent, Family, and Community Engagement Services

Early Head Start/Head Start offers parents opportunities and support for growth so they may identify their own strengths, needs, interests and find their own solutions. The objective of the Parent, Family & Community Engagement Content Area is to support parents as they identify and meet their own goals, nurture the development of children in the context of their family and culture, and advocate for communities that are supportive of children and families. The building of trusting, collaborative relationships between parents and staff allows them to share with and to learn from one another.


Parent Participation

Parents/Guardians are strongly encouraged to be their child's most powerful advocate both in and outside of school. HOPES CAP, Inc. Early Childhood Program offers a forum for parents/guardians to ask questions and express their concerns about issues affecting their children through Parent Meetings. A Parent Committee is established and elects officers to facilitate the parent meetings, plan fund-raisers and schedule activities for the children and families. Bilingual staff is present during the meetings to answer questions and give guidance as needed. Parents/guardians are encouraged to remain after meetings and participate in a Parent Workshops. Examples of topics include the following:

Program Orientation for Parents/Guardians
Early Childhood Development
Effective Discipline
Stress Management
Cancer Awareness
Domestic Violence
Child Abuse Recognition and Prevention
Basic Nutrition
Pedestrian Safety
Dental Health Awareness
Menu Planning on a Budget

Parents are encouraged to participate in their child's school experience by volunteering as a team member in their child's classroom or by becoming involved in the Early Head Start/Head Start Policy Council or one of the Parent Committees. The Early Childhood Program has an open door policy, enabling parents to visit freely.



Early Childhood Locations


Three to Five Sites

David E. Rue Head Site
301 Garden Street Hoboken, NJ 07030
Phone: 201-795-1576 ext.1100
Fax: 201-795-0033

Brandt School Site
215 9th Street Hoboken, NJ 07030
Phone: 201-656-2766 ext.1400
Fax: 201-792-7408

Connors Head Start Site
201 Monroe Street Hoboken, NJ 07030
Phone: 201-656-3711 ext.1404

Infant/Toddler Site

Early Head Start Site
619 Jefferson Street Hoboken, NJ 07030
Phone: 201-656-3711 ext.1103


Three to Five Sites

Watchung Site
7-9 Watchung Avenue Plainfield, NJ 07060
Phone: 908-754-1830 ext. 1500
Fax: 908-754-1826

New Horizon Site
110-128 West Front Street Plainfield, NJ 07060
Phone:908-769-1240 ext. 1700
Fax: 908-754-1715

St. Mary's Site
513 West 6th Street Plainfield, NJ 07060
Phone: 908-754-1970 ext.1600

Infant/Toddler Site

Early Head Start Site
322 Park Avenue Plainfield, NJ 07060
Phone: 908-754-1970 ext.1505

Bilingual Day Care
225 Second Street Plainfield, NJ 07060
Phone: 908-754-1970 ext.2101