"It's not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful."

~Ann Landers


From the Early Head Start Director

Karen Manning Pigues, M. Ed.
Early Head Start Director
ICS EHS Program provides high quality, early, continuous child development and family support services to low-income families. We provide educational and developmentally appropriate activities and instruction for children ages birth to 3 years and pregnant women in Benton, Clay, DeSoto, Grenada, Lafayette, Lowndes, Marshall, Noxubee, Panola, Tallahatchie, Tate and Tunica counties. ICS Early Head Start received an expansion grant for 96 additional slots to serve infants and toddlers, for a total of 320 children and families being served.
Our services are child and family focused and has the overall goal of increasing the School Readiness of young children. All of our services are center based and comprehensive. Children attend our program five (5) days a week in a safe, nurturing learning environment. Activities and routines address approaches to learning, social and emotional development, language and literacy, cognition, and perceptual motor and physical development domains. Learning experiences are within the context of children cultures and community.
Early Head Start is committed to protecting and strengthening the bond between parents and children. We support parents as the primary educator of their child .We provide continuity of care in our program which helps children build strong relationships that are critical for their social and intellectual development. We support parents’ efforts to fulfill their parental role and be an advocate for their child. We provide resources and training that will help parent’s support their child’s development and move them toward self-sufficiency and life preparedness.
It is our goal to provide a positive impact in the communities that we serve by working and partnering with those in the community who share common goal of strengthening families. We work continuously to fortify established relationships and build new relationships to enhance services to infants, toddlers and families.

School Readiness

In development of our School Readiness goals the School Readiness Committee reviewed and used the following documents:
- The Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework
- NAEYC Standards
- Early Learning Guidelines IT for Mississippi
- Early Learning Accomplishment Profile (E-LAP Ongoing Assessment)
- The Creative Curriculum
Our efforts to prepare children begin with access to proper prenatal care and training for expectant mothers to focus on healthy birth outcomes. Once children are enrolled, well baby checkups are maintained and developmental, social emotional, vision, and hearing screenings are administered within forty-five (45) days. Children are assessed at least three (3) times yearly using online LAP-BK assessment.
Plans and teacher-child interactions are individualized to enhance child’s development and to meet School Readiness Goals. Transition begins for children within six (6) months of their 3rd birthday.

Children Served During the 2022-2023 School Year


Early Head Start enrolled 391 participants during the 2022-23 school year.

Total Funded Enrollment: 
  • 320 children and 28 pregnant women = 348
Primary Language:
  • 99% English and
  • 1% Spanish.
90% Income Eligible (354)
0% Over Income (0)
1% Received Public Assistance (4)
1% Foster Children (2)
1% Other (2)

Our Early Head Start Families


The follow is a breakdown of the families we serve in EHS, their employment, job training, and educational levels. Our goal in EHS is to meet our parents where they are and assist them with achieving goals for both themselves and their families.


Early Head Start LAP-3 Developmental Assessment Progress

The following five (5) graphs reflects the range of scores for children enrolled in ICS-EHS based on the School Readiness Goals for Infants and Toddlers in Head Start and Early Head Start Programs.

ICS 2022-2023 13-County Annual Report

ICS 2022-2023 Benton County Annual Report