Head Start Program

We take applications year round!

WCMCA Head Start and Early Head Start serves families with children in a 7-county area, which includes Douglas, Grant, Otter Tail, Pope, Stevens, Traverse and Wadena Counties.  Age and income guidelines are set by the federal government.  Ten percent of Head Start’s enrollment is reserved for special needs children who may be over the income guidelines.  All Head Start services are provided at no cost to the family.

To begin the Head Start / Early Head Start application process, click the link below to print the application:

Head Start Application

and send to:

WCMCA Head Start

411 Industrial Park Blvd.

Elbow Lake MN 56531

or email to: maryc@wcmca.org

Please review your Privacy Rights (PDF)

A Head Start staff member will contact you to review your application and to complete income verification.

If you have questions, contact Mary at 218-685-7059.

Head Start and Early Head Start Program Offerings

Preschool Head Start – 3 & 4 year olds

  • Alexandria EEC Head Start located in the Early Education Center at Woodland Elementary School: Denise Holm and Shelia Vacek 320-762-8046
  • Alexandria ATCC Head Start located in the Alexandria Technical & Community College: Jodi Schmidt 320-760-5371 and Kim Haugen 320-815-0421
  • Ashby Head Start located in the Ashby School: Kali Peterson 320-760-2274
  • Brandon Head Start located in the Brandon School: Nicole Olson 320-760-1984
  • Elbow Lake Head Start located in the West Central Area North School: Stacie Rylander 320-760-2275
  • Fergus Falls Head Start located in the Synstelien Community Services Building: Denise Frederick 218-770-9575, McKenzie Leslie 218-671-3521, Amanda Morales 320-815-3879 and Kristie Williams 218-770-9278
  • Menahga Head Start located in the Menahga Early Childhood Center: Pamela Roepke 218-539-0516
  • Glenwood Head Start located in the Minnewaska Elementary School: Imogen Kirckof 320-760-2278
  • Morris Head Start located in the Morris Area Child Care Center: Beth Huebner 320-589-7949
  • Osakis Head Start located in Osakis Public School: Chessie Andrist 320-760-2288
  • Pelican Rapids Head Start located in the Pelican Rapids Elementary School: Resa Bittner 218-770-8711, Carrie Harthun 218-770-9232 and Debra Lontz 218-770-8858
  • Perham Head Start located in the Boys and Girls Club: Amy Olsen: 218-639-4290
  • Wadena Head Start located in Wadena-Deer Creek Elementary School: Amanda Tyrrell 218-639-3914

Early Head Start – Pregnant women and children birth to 3 years old

  • Alexandria Area Early Head Start: Angie Bakken 320-304-7818
  • Alexandria Area Early Head Start: Kathi Molitor 320-760-4469
  • Fergus Falls Area Early Head Start: Michelle Umlauf 218-770-6518
  • Glenwood Early Head Start: Deb Holmes 320-760-2273
  • Morris Early Head Start: Melissa Whittemore 320-760-2283
  • Pelican Rapids Area Early Head Start: Bonnie Kuhlmann 218-770-9231
  • Traverse County Early Head Start: Loretta Kruger 320-760-9196
  • Wadena County Early Head Start: Julie Vry 218-639-2923

Click below to view our most current:


Head Start Mission Statement

Head Start provides a supportive environment that encourages children, families, staff and communities to thrive by identifying strengths and opportunities, and developing strong partnerships to meet needs.

Standard of Conduct

All Staff, Consultants, and Volunteers will abide by these standards:

  • Respect and promote the unique identity of each child and family and refrain from stereotyping on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity, culture, religion, or disability.
  • Follow program confidentiality policies concerning information about children, families, and other staff members.
  • No child will be left alone or unsupervised while under their care.
  • They will use positive methods of child guidance and will not engage in corporal punishment, emotional or physical abuse, or humiliation. In addition, they will not employ methods of discipline that involve isolation, the use of food as punishment or reward, or the denial of basic needs.

Performance Standard 1304.52(h)(1)

Purpose of Program

Head Start promotes the school readiness of young children from low-income families through agencies in their local community. Head Start and Early Head Start programs support the comprehensive development of children from birth to age 5 in centers and in their own homes. Head Start services include early learning, health and family well-being.

Our goal is to provide each child with an opportunity to grow and develop in a safe and nurturing environment. The Head Start staff recognizes parents as the first and most important teachers of their children. Head Start provides children with activities that help them grow mentally, socially, emotionally, and physically. Services are offered to meet the special needs of children with disabilities.

Other Head Start Facts and Stats

Head Start Programs in the Minnesota Head Start Association offer the following information on the Head Start program:

  • Most children enrolled in the program come from families with household incomes below the federal poverty guidelines.
  • Without Head Start, low-income children would miss the opportunity to learn and grow in preschool and would be at much greater risk for academic and social difficulties later in life.
  • Classroom quality in Head Start is higher and more consistent, on the whole than in commercial or center-based child care preschools.
  • For every dollar invested in quality child development program, society saves at least $7 later on programs such as unemployment, criminal justice and child welfare.