Head Start

Community Action Program of Evansville, Indiana is a comprehensive preschool program serving low income children from birth to 5 years old.

We serve 660 children in Vanderburgh, Gibson, and Posey counties each year.

Head Start’s mission is to meet children’s needs so all children are ready for school.

As part of our efforts to ensure children start school ready to learn, Head Start provides health services; including oral health coordination.

Head Start Logo - Square

Double Session Option

Children will come to a classroom setting for a 3 1/2 hour session four (4) days per week in Vanderburgh, Gibson and Posey Counties.

Children 3-5 years of age may attend these sessions with transportation provided.

Extended Day Option

This option provides an extension of classroom time of six (6) hours per day. This option meets four (4) days per week.

The extended day allows longer days to engage in learning activities.

This option has been targeted for children who will be enrolling in kindergarten the following year.

School Readiness

Community Action Program of Evansville collaborates with families and the community to provide opportunities that promotes school readiness. 

These experiences strengthen the child’s social, emotional, physical and cognitive abilities.

School readiness starts at infancy since positive early relationships enhance later outcomes. 

We strive to provide an interpersonal relationship that is warm and loving to each child and ongoing support to parents as their first and most important teacher.

CAPE Head Start has developed School Readiness Goals that are aligned with the Head Start Child Development and Early Learning Framework, Indiana Foundations, Parent Expectations, and School Expectations. 

We utilize the Creative Curriculum to plan and individualize for each child.

Fatherhood Program

The Fatherhood Program at CAPE Head Start invites Fathers, Grandfathers, Uncles, Big Brothers, Cousins or Family Friend to participate. The program is designed to continually  bring awareness to the value a Father figure can have on the life of a child.

Males are invited into the classrooms, on field trips, and to serve on committees throughout the agency. The males meet once a month at the Family Engagement Center in Vanderburgh County alongside scheduled parent meetings in Posey and Gibson Counties.

There are opportunities for male-only events, men and women, men and their child(ren) and males with their family and friends. Some events include the Annual Sweet Heart Dance, Read to Me Dad, football, baseball and golf outings, bowling, specially requested speakers, and an opportunity to share your gifts and talents.

Fathers play an invaluable and irreplaceable role in the development and lives of their children. Our staff is committed and looks forward to the positive impact you may have on the children and families we serve.


Through Practice Based Coaching we are able to increase school readiness gains for our children by using a cyclical process that involves classroom support for our teachers. 

The cycle of Practice Based Coaching includes focused classroom observations, planning goals with teaching staff, and sharing/ reflecting on feedback about teaching strategies. 

Each teacher is able to create a relationship with a Resource Coach that facilitates this process and provides resources to ensure classroom success for the children and teaching staff.

Early childhood mental health is a child’s (birth to 5 years) growing ability to experience, regulate, and express emotions. They learn to develop close, secure relationships with peers and caring adults. 

Children begin to explore and learn from their surroundings, pay attention, and follow directions. Early childhood mental health is the same as social-emotional development. 

Head Start and Early Head Start programs partner with local professionals Southwestern Behavioral healthcare, and other programs to ensure children, families, and staff have access to prevention and intervention services.


Head Start regulations require that at least 10 percent of children enrolled in both programs are children with disabilities.

Early/Head Start strives to screen and identify eligible children; providing high-quality, individualized instruction and much more! 

Once a child is diagnosed, services are carried out onsite or in the home to make it comfortable and convenient for both the child and their family.

Early intervention is the first step to getting the child the help they need to have a head start in school readiness.


Receiving early health intervention is an important factor in educational success. Under the National Healthstart program children are required to obtain the following health screening:  vision, hearing, speech, lead, a physical examination, and dental examination.

Children enrolled in the Head Start program are required to obtain the following health screenings within the established timelines:

  • Physical examination
    • Within 30 days of enrollment  (Physical form)
  • Vision, hearing, blood pressure screening; can be done by staff
    • Within 45 days of enrollment
  • Dental examination
    • Within  90 days of enrollment

CAPE has implemented the Brush! program. Brush! Is a dental care program for children and families within the Head Start program.  This program involves a year-long oral health curriculum and support materials help your classroom talk about dental health while learning literacy, science, mathematics and creative arts. Aligned with HighScope Indicators and Head Start Domains, this curriculum meets the standards early learning sites are tasked with teaching.

An important component of Brush! is parent education
Parents are the drivers in whether their children brush their teeth, if they visit the dentist, and if they eat healthy foods. Brush! parent materials give easy to understand information on dental care, nutrition, the importance of family meals, and the importance of reading to their children.


CAPE identifies and maintains relationships with agencies throughout the community that provide services to low-income customers, homeless families, families receiving public assistance and foster care.

Collaboration & Partnerships

AIDS Resource Group

Albion Fellow Bacon Center

American Cancer Society

American Diabetes Association

Anthem community Resources Committee


CAPE Foster Grandparents Program

Carriage House Apartments

Carver Community Center

Christian Life Center

Deaconess Women’s Hospital



Evansville Commission on the Social Status of Black Males

Evansville Housing Authority

Evansville Human Relations Commission

Evansville Rescue Mission/YCC

Evansville Tri-State Affiliate of Susan G. Komen


House of Bread and Peace

Indiana Minority Health Coalition

Latino Collaboration Table


Patchwork Central

Potter’s Wheel Church

Purdue Family Nutrition

Smoke-Free Communities


Vanderburgh County Health Dept.


Welborn Baptist Foundation

Target Health Disparities



Health Literacy

Heart Disease

Infant Mortality

Mental Illness


Teen Pregnancy


CAPE's MHI Advisory Group

Alice Weathers, CEO

RaShawnda Bonds, Coordinator

Lisa Allen

Wallace Corbitt

Gloria Gibson

Janet Johnson

Kerseclia Patterson

Tony Kirkland

Melanie Russell