Main office:

 2111 Sugar Hill Rd., Marion, NC 28752

Phone: (828) 652-3229

Fax: (828) 652-5110

COVID-19 Message to Our Community:
We're Still Here.

Even though we aren't in the building, we're still here. 


We are still taking applications for our program. 


Just call 652-3229 and we will get your information and have a staff member contact you to do an application by phone. 


To start an application online click here. You must enter a telephone number or email address for us to be able to contact you to complete the process. A staff member will contact you to complete the full application by phone.


McDowell County NC, to get help with resources or to see how you can help, visit:



We offer several different program options at varying locations.  Our classrooms in Elementary schools are all Head Start children only and operate from 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.. You can find a copy of our current Annual Report on our program Facebook page. The Annual Report gives an annual overview of our budget, services to children, and basic statistics about our program.


HEAD START/EARLY HEAD START ONLY: These children are in free slots from 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. These families qualify based on Federal poverty guidelines and our local selection criteria. We have a total of 120 Head Start slots located at our Sugar Hill, Eastfield, and Nebo centers and we have 48 Center-base Early Head Start slots as well as 12 Early Head Start Home-base slots based in our Early Head Start center.


EARLY HEAD START & HEAD START WITH WRAP-AROUND: These children are in a free slot from 8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.. These families qualify based on our guidelines, but need extended hours of care. These types of slots are limited.


Head Start is a Federally funded, early childhood education program that started in the summer of 1965 as an eight week summer program. Over the years the program has grown and changed into a comprehensive early learning program that addresses education, nutrition, health, and social service needs of low income children ages 3-5 and their families. Learn more about our comprehensive services.



Early Head Start is the infant/toddler program modeled after Head Start to serve low income pregnant mothers, infants, and toddlers the same way that Head Start serves preschoolers and their families. Early Head Start was created in 1994.


MCDOWELL COUNTY SCHOOLS HEAD START & EARLY HEAD START'S mission is providing high quality, comprehensive preschool services for children zero to five that will serve the needs of family and community and prepare children for entry to public school.




Learn more…

To access Parent Annual Notices and Documents for McDowell County Schools please click here.

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