We Envision Strong Communities
Filled with Successful Children and Families 

We provide educational opportunities for both adults and children to nurture their ability to meet their goals.

Our Mission:

We are a non-profit agency delivering Head Start and related programs throughout southeastern Arizona for prenatal through preschool age children and their families. 

The focus of our work is School Readiness in:

Early Childhood Development 
Health & Nutrition 
Parent Engagement & Family Development

We Believe:

Children are magical and competent, and constant, curious learners;
Parents want the best for their children, and learning for themselves;
Staff bring expertise with an attitude that supports teamwork, learning and development;
Learning thrives within respectful relationships;
Positive Outcomes result from appropriate and consistent learning over time; and
We All participate in life-long learning as both teachers and learners.

Our Values Are

Safe, healthy, nurturing and happy environments.
Ethical leadership, high standards, and continuous improvement.
Staff development and assist one another to find our own voice.
Open, honest communications that acknowledge diverse perspectives.
Integrity, personal responsibility, and a sense of ownership.
Collaborative relationships, mentoring and teamwork.
The unique role of parents as their child's first and most important teacher, as a decision maker, and as a partner in teaching and learning.
The unique contributions made by people of diverse backgrounds and perspectives.
We value accountability and the efficient use of public funds to ensure positive outcomes for children, families and the community.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Trauma-Informed

  • Head Start is rooted in the belief that every child has the ability to succeed in school and in life. Ending injustice, racism, and bias is fundamental to delivering on this promise.
  • At Child-Parent Centers, Head Start/Early Head Start Grantee, we have an opportunity and an obligation as an early childhood organization to be diverse, equitable, inclusive, and trauma-informed for all children, families, and staff. We are committed to creating safe and culturally responsive environments that promote innovation, trust, and a sense of belonging. 

Our History


Head Start Begins

The Head Start program began as a summer program through local public schools. Funding was $96,400,000, enrollment was 561,000. Lyndon Johnson, president


Child-Parent Centers Founded 

Child-Parent Centers was founded as Child Development Centers, a Tucson-based community action group. Operating as a not-for-profit organization we served a small number of children and families in the Tucson area. 


Child-Parent Centers Incorporates 

The Tucson-based community action group incorporated. Child-Parent Centers became a delegate agency for Head Start; thus we became the original Head Start grantee for Pima and Santa Cruz Counties.  


First Expansion 

Child-Parent Centers expanded to add Cochise, Graham, and Greenlee Counties. Head Start changed from a summer program to a school-year program.  


Sole provider of Head Start in Southeastern Arizona 

Federal changes to teacher certification requirements caused school districts to end Head Start services; thus Child-Parent Centers became the sole provider of Head Start in southeastern Arizona.  


Awarded Grantee Status 

Applies and was successfully named Head Start grantee for southeastern Arizona. Child-Parent Centers began to open centers in Marana, Nogales, Rio Rico, Safford, Pima, Duncan, Bisbee, Willcox,and other Tucson surrounding areas. The total number of children served by Child-Parent Centers increases to over 700.  


Service Expansion Begins 

Congress increased funding for Head Start nationwide Child-Parent Centers Expands: 1993 - served 1,128 children in 28 centers. 1996 - served 1,712 children in 39 centers. 1997 - served 1,997 children in 41 centers. Increased service options; added full day-full year, family literacy (parent and child both attend school), and home-based services.  


Early Head Start Funded 

Child-Parent Centers, Inc. began the implementation process of the Early Head Start program with 199 pregnant women, infants and toddlers in Tucson and Safford. Through a unique partnership, 70 of these participants received Early Head Start services through the Blake Foundation. The emphasis on delivery of quality services continued with the restructuring of program support and supervision. Child-Parent Centers also partnered with CODAC Behavioral Health Services for a full-day Head Start Program. CPC's partnerships with the public schools include collaboration on services for children with disabilities, curriculum models and food programs.  


Emphasis on School Readiness 

The Head Start Outcomes Framework was published in 2003 and CPC commits to developing its own classroom curriculum, Languages of Learning, inspired by the Reggio Emilia philosophy. Enrollment expands to 2285 with the addition of 430 children in the Early Head Start program.  


Child-Parent Centers Today 

Forty-seven years later and over 2700 children enrolled at the start of 2013, we continue to provide high quality early childhood education services in southeastern Arizona. Children leave Head Start ready for school. Sadly, due to federally mandated budget cuts 161 children have lost the opportunity to attend our Head Start program, along with 57,000 children nationwide. Parents and communities have rallied to restore lost Head Start services and we are hopeful the U.S. Congress will rescind these unnecessary budget cuts.