Head Start

Head Start is a federally funded early childhood program that serves children ages 3-5.  The program is a comprehensive preschool program that includes the following services:

  • Education
  • Family Support
  • Health Services
  • Disability Services
  • Mental Health Support

What makes Head Start different from other preschool programs is that we focus on the whole family and child to help ensure that each child has the tools needed to be successful in a school setting and will be ready for Kindergarten.  Different program options are available to ensure a good fit for each child.



2020-2021 Annual Report
Head Start Application

How do I apply?

To apply for Head Start, please complete this application.  This application is valid for most early childhood programming in Itasca County and for Head Start in Koochiching County.

Head Start Application

Children between the ages of 3 to 5 in Itasca and Koochiching Counties are eligible for the Head Start program.

There is no cost to families.

KOOTASCA provides all learning materials and supplies. Some children may choose to bring a backpack to carry their papers.

  • Four days per week: (Monday-Thursday) classrooms are in session September through May and typically run from 8:30 AM- 2:30 PM.
  • Five days per week: (Monday-Friday) classrooms are in session September through May and typically run from 8:30 AM– 2:30 PM.
  • Extended day services: Available in some areas with childcare before and after class starting at 7;00 am and ending at 5:00 pm.
  • Summer sessions: summer programming is available in some areas and schedules vary. Please contact us for more details.


Head Start Classrooms are located in Keewatin, Marble, Taconite, Grand Rapids, Deer River, Northome, and International Falls.

Itasca County

Koochiching County

Our Unique Partnerships 

KOOTASCA Head Start partners with other programs in the community to provide the education and resources that children and families may need.  Our partners include: Invest Early, Children’s Mental Health, Kiesler Wellness Center, Itasca County Public Health, and University of Minnesota Extension.

Child and Adult Care Food Program
In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.

To file a complaint of discrimination call (202) 720-5964 (voice and TDD) or write,

USDA, Director, Office of Adjudication and Compliance
1400 Independence Avenue SW,
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410

Head Start Community Needs Assessment