New Directions Early Head Start

New Directions Early Head Start (NDEHS) is an interagency program committed to empowering and supporting pregnant women, infants, toddlers, and their families.  NDEHS is designed to serve women who are pregnant, and families who have children between the ages of birth and 36 months.  Programs at the centers give children with and without disabilities an equal opportunity to learn together.  Families must meet income and other eligibility guidelines.

The consortium is composed of various agencies including:

Delaware Early Childhood Center - DECC

Mispillion and West Street
Harrington, DE  19952
302-398-8945 Ext. 38
302-398-8983 (FAX)

Hilltop Lutheran Neighborhood Center

1018 W. 6th Street
Wilmington, DE  19805
302-656-3830 (FAX)

Early Learning Center - Wilmington at Neighborhood House, Inc.

1218 B. Street
Wilmington, DE  19801
302-652-3983 (FAX)

Early Learning Center - Newark

489 Wyoming Road
University of Delaware
Newark, DE  19716
302-831-1829 (FAX)

The Department of Human Development and Family Studies, University of Delaware

NDEHS was funded in October 1997 during the third national wave of federal support to develop Early Head Start programs across the nation.  The NDEHS consortium of agencies represents an innovative collaborative model bringing together the University with a diverse group of nonprofit community agencies to provide direct services to over 180 children and families in New Castle and Kent counties.  The consortium also works to have an impact on many more families and service providers by way of its capacity-building approach in the areas of child care, disability support, training, and coordination of services.

NDEHS received a $1 million grant at the end of 2009 to expand its programs in New Castle and Kent counties.  Read New Directions Early Head Start receives grant to expand services in UDaily for more information about how the grant is providing services to more families and children.

NDEHS in the News

Stress and Children: University study will focus on nurture as a way to lower stress among children - Families living in poverty often face extremely high levels of stress in their everyday lives, which may affect parent-child interactions. To help counteract the negative effects of poverty on infants, toddlers, and their families, the University of Delaware New Directions Early Head Start (NDEHS) offers a multi-generational program that provides an array of supports to low-income families in New Castle and Kent counties. Families enrolled in NDEHS receive early education services for children, as well as parenting education and family supports. NDEHS is operated through the Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood in the (HDFS).

A new $2 million federal research study was recently awarded to HDFS faculty Jason Hustedt, Myae Han, Jennifer Vu and Rena Hallam by the Administration for Children, Youth, and Families in the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. This five-year project seeks to bolster the existing services provided by NDEHS through implementing and studying a research-based parent-child interaction intervention. Click Here to read the UDaily Article. (11/1/11)

NDEHS's mission

New Directions Early Head Start provides pregnant women, infants, toddlers, and their families with quality care and family services that support families in providing the best for themselves and their very young children, in order to promote childrens' success and families' self-sufficiency, through community collaboration and partnerships.

NDEHS Philosophy 

Guiding Principles

NDEHS Partners

Center Based Child Care Partnerships

Home Based Services

Mentoring Coaching Project

NDEHS reports

2009-2010 Annual Report

NDEHS Program Report 2010-2011

Additional Information:

Head Start Early Childhood Learning & Knowledge Center

DE Office of Head Start State Collaboration

For more information contact:

Heidi Beck, Director

New Directions Early Head Start

321 S. College Avenue

Newark, DE 19716


302-831-4070 (FAX)

  • Departmant of Human Development & Family Studies •  111 Allison Hall West •  Newark, DE 19716 •  USA
    Phone: 302-831-6500 Fax: 302-831-8776 E-mail:  • ©