About our Early Childhood Education Programs

Head Start

Head Start is a federally funded, comprehensive preschool program designed for children ages 3 and 4 whose families meet federal income requirements in Jefferson County. Children in high risk environments or with special needs may be eligible regardless of income.

Every five years, Head Start conducts an assessment of community needs. The assessment process includes the collection and analysis of data that serves as useful tool in aligning the Head Start program with the needs of local families and children.

Universal Pre-K

Community Action Planning Council contracts with Watertown, Sackets Harbor and Indian River School Districts to operate Universal Pre-K. There are no income guidelines. Parents may contact the school district office to apply, provided they live within the district.

The agency also operates a full-day Pre-K program in collaboration with Watertown Head Start within the Watertown City School District. Applications are randomly selected to fill available slots. Families must meet all eligibility requirements to be considered for this program.

Administrative Staff

Melissa Jenkins, Head Start/UPK Director
Trish Gay, Family Service/Parent Involvement/ERSEA Specialist
Kathi Zecher, Health/Nutrition/Disabilities Specialist
Molly Smith, Education/Mental Health Specialist
Colleen Mayne-Butler, Transition/Transportation/Special Projects Specialist
Elaine Soper, Office Manager

For more information about Head Start and Universal Pre-K programming click here.

Online Resources:

National Head Start Association
Office of Head Start
New York State Office of Children and Family Services