Preparing Children for Success in School and Life

The Y is the sole grantee for Head Start/Early Head Start in Anne Arundel County. We provide children with a high quality early childhood education experience so they can achieve the best possible start in life and enter school ready to learn and succeed.

We offer a Head Start program for preschool children ages 3 – 5 and an Early Head Start program for pregnant women, infants and toddlers ages 0 – 3. Our goal is to ensure that every child is school-ready. In fact, Y Head Start children routinely assess higher in school readiness than other assessed children across the state.

We welcome all children including those with disabilities and those who are in foster care or are experiencing homelessness. We work with families and local communities to strengthen the family unit through comprehensive services:

  • Trained, knowledgeable and helpful staff
  • FREE comprehensive services around education, health, nutrition, mental health and family services
  • Family support and developmentally appropriate learning activities
  • Referral services for resources such as: WIC, Infants & Toddlers, Health Care Providers, Food Pantry, Employment, and Housing
  • Individual Child Progress Reports on what your child knows and can do
  • Parenting workshops, trainings, and field trips
  • Volunteer opportunities
  • Complimentary Y family membership while families are enrolled in the program
  • Parent leadership opportunities on Advisory Committees, Policy Council, and the Maryland Head Start Board

Our program is accredited and designated by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) Excels program as level 5 (highest level). Additionally, we also partner with Anne Arundel County Public Schools to provide a full-day pre-K program with supplemental services.

Get a better idea of our impact and performance by viewing our 2021 Community Report. Also, Y Head Start participates in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) program. Click to see the CACFP non-discrimination statement.


Being a part of a supportive, active, and caring community is essential to good health and well-being. That’s why all families participating in Y Head Start and Early Head Start automatically receive a Y family membership included with enrollment! The membership continues annually at no cost, even during school holidays and summer months, provided you re-enroll by a specified date each year. LEARN MORE HERE.



Y Early Head Start is a home-based program where Family Development Specialists work with pregnant women, infants and families in their homes on a weekly basis to help prepare children in all developmental areas for transition into traditional Head Start. 

  • Pregnant mothers, infants and toddlers birth to age 3
  • Full-day, 9am-3pm
  • Year-round program
  • Prenatal education and support for expectant families
  • Home visits by trained staff to support you in your role as the primary educator of your child


In Early Head Start, we use the Creative Curriculum for Infants and Toddlers. The philosophy behind this curriculum is that in the early years, children explore the world around them by using all of their senses. Through the use of this curriculum, we aim to:

  • Help children become enthusiastic learners
  • Allow children to learn at their own pace and in ways that are best for them
  • Instill a positive sense of self that will make a difference throughout their lives
  • Focus on the full development of the whole child: spirit, mind & body
  • Social Development – helping children feel comfortable, to trust their environment
  • Emotional Development – build self-confidence
  • Physical Development – help children increase their large and small motor skills
  • Cognitive Development – help children become confident learners by letting them tryout their own ideas and experience success



Y Head Start serves children ages 3-5 with an intentional focus to develop school readiness skills as recommended and measured by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). Children are prepared to enter kindergarten ready to learn.

  • Children ages 3-5
  • Monday-Friday
  • Full-day program, 9am-3pm
  • September - June
  • Daily meals (breakfast, lunch & snack)
  • Curriculum-based program focused on school readiness: literacy, math, science & social-emotional skills


The curriculum is skills-based and involves the family as active partners in their child's healthy growth and development. Working with parents and maintaining high quality classroom environments with Hatch TeachSmart boards and TouchSmart touchscreen computers, we prepare children to be successful by teaching them age-appropriate fundamentals such as:

  • Reading - letter sounds, word families, reading/being read to, book awareness, etc.
  • Writing - letter shapes, spacing, upper and lowercase, punctuation, etc.
  • Math - numbers, counting, grouping, addition, subtraction, math facts, etc.
  • Circle/Small Group Time - name recognition, calendar, dramatic play, educational songs, science, library, etc.
  • Health & Wellness - I Am Moving, I Am Learning; a preschool curriculum that teaches and reinforces academic skills through music and movement, daily outdoor play, swimming (where available), physical education and more; generously funded by Giant Food's Our Family Foundation
  • Arts & Humanities - replicating the work of the masters, finger painting, crafts, etc.



Head Start/Early Head Start is a fully funded program. Families must apply for their child’s scholarship to participate.


Review the list of locations below to see if we serve your area. Complete the pre-registration application to determine eligibility for the program. If your child is eligible, a member of our team will contact you with additional information and to complete the registration process.

Pre-Registration Application

You may also email us at The Family Service Advocate or Family Development Specialist will explain the enrollment process and arrange a time to speak with you to complete the application.

Please be prepared with the following documents:

  • Proof of age (birth certificate or legal document for child 0-5, proof of pregnancy)
  • Proof of Residency (current lease, phone bill, BGE, etc.)
  • Proof of Income (W2, tax form 1040, 2 current consecutive check stubs, SSI, child support, etc.)

Children are enrolled based on a selection system that ranks families by need. Upon enrollment you must provide:

  • A record of your child’s immunizations
  • Documentation of your child’s most recent physical and lead test/level
  • Other supporting documents as requested


Y Early Head Start home-based services are available in the following zip codes:

21403, 21405, 21409, 21012, 21240, 20765, 21056, 21060, 21061, 20776, 21032, 21113, 21122, 21140, 21226, 21076

Y Head Start services are available at the following locations:

213 Croll Dr.
Annapolis, MD 21404
282 Whitaker Rd.
Pasadena, MD 21122
5757 Belle Grove Rd.
Brooklyn Park, MD 21225
1710 Meade Circle Rd.
Severn, MD 21144


PUBLIC RELEASE: The Y in Central Maryland announces participation in the MSDE Child and Adult Care Food Program.