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Florida State University
Early Head Start

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The Florida State University (FSU) Early Head Start program is a federally funded home visiting program in Gadsden County that delivers comprehensive services to expectant and low-income families with infants and toddlers.


Our Mission:

  • Promote healthy prenatal outcomes for pregnant women.

  • Enhance the development of very young children.

  • Promote healthy family functioning.

If you live in Gadsden County and are interested in learning more about FSU Early Head Start services, please click here, to contact a member of our staff. We will reach back out to you soon.

Si vive en el condado de Gadsden y está interesado en obtener más información sobre los servicios de Early Head Start de FSU, haga clic aquí, complete el formulario y un miembro de nuestro personal se comunicará con usted.

Are you pregnant or a parent of a child under 3 living in Gadsden County?

FSU Early Head Start can provide you:

  • Weekly home visits to show you activities you can do with your child, keep track of your child’s development, and help them get ready for pre-school. 

  • Assistance with medical needs, like getting your child a doctor and understanding when it’s time to get well-baby visits and shots.

  • Information on topics you may be interested in including pregnancy health, parenting, and understanding you child’s behavior. 

  • Opportunities to get together with other families at play group held throughout the community.  Transportation is provided to program event if needed. 

  • Help with setting goals for your child and family.

  • Referrals to other community agencies to meet your needs.



Early Head Start provides support for families in various ways:

  • Learning materials

  • Hearing & vision screenings

  • Children’s books

  • Healthy home kits

  • Transportation assistance to prenatal & child health appointments 

  • Car seats, Pack-n-plays, diapers, wipes, & formula (based on availability & need)

Do you want to refer a family?

If you work at a community agency and would like to refer a family for our services, please download, print, and complete the referral form and fax to (850) 627-4328 (secure fax line) or deliver directly to the FSU EHS Quincy office location at 343 E. King Street, Quincy, FL 32351. Our Program Recruiter, Jackie Ramirez, will follow up with the parent to provide information about Early Head Start services.

I want to intern with the program! What can I do?​

We love our interns! We currently accept interns from FSU, Thomas University and FAMU.  Experiences include:

  • Shadowing home visitors working with high-risk, rural families within the home environment and virtually

  • Learning how to conduct a home visit targeting pregnant and parenting families with children 0-3, incorporating both social work and child development skills

  • Learning about child development and developing techniques to engage parents in age appropriate play experiences with their children

  • Gaining knowledge regarding clinical topics that impact families, such as infant mental health, trauma and maternal depression

  • Learning how to complete developmental and sensory assessments

  • Learning how to appropriately document your observations and interventions

  • Gaining group planning and group interaction skills

  • Opportunities to refine case management skills as you aid families in accessing community resources.

  • Learning about family engagement and goal setting 

For more information about volunteering your time, please call Liz Graham at


Program Services

The FSU Early Head Start program embraces a play-based, child directed approach to early childhood education. Our educational services for parents of infants and toddlers include weekly 90-minute home visits using research-based information from the FSU Partners for a Healthy Baby Home Visiting Curriculum to support developmental issues, health and safety, pregnancy, and specific parenting topics related to the family’s unique needs.

By providing home visiting services to women beginning in the prenatal period, the FSU Early Head Start program has an opportunity to work with the family for more than three years. In addition to supporting pregnant women, the FSU Early Head Start program provides comprehensive health services to its enrolled children and families by providing:

  • Information and parent education on child health and development. 

  • Developmental, social emotional and sensory screening, as well as ongoing assessments.

  • Referrals to community providers. 

  • Assistance to parents who need to establish a "medical home." 

  • Emotional support to primary caregivers and optional counseling. 

  • Help to families in establishing preventative health and dental habits. 

  • Assistance A way to tracking health care appointments for children and expectant women. 

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Promising Outcomes

Early Head Start children performed better in cognition, language skills and social-emotional functioning than 3-year-olds not in the program (Raikes et al, 2012).

Longer enrollment in Early Head Start is related to more positive outcomes for both child development and positive parenting behaviors (Peterson et al, 2013).

Early Head Start has a positive and lasting effect on children and families. Higher levels of family involvement in Early Head Start home-based services were associated with more favorable child outcomes and parent-teacher relationships when the children were in fifth grade (Peterson et al, 2013 and Raikes et al, 2006).

Home visiting helps families build relationships, and it seems to be especially important for improving the parent-child relationship, which is critical for later child outcomes (Chazan-Cohen et al., 2009; Roggman et al., 2009).

Early Head Start parenting during the first five years of life contributed to positive child outcomes at prekindergarten (Chazen-Cohen et al, 2009).

Participation in an Early Head Start home-based program reduced parental distress, which has consistently been linked to compromised parenting behaviors and adverse child outcomes (Anthony et cl, 2005; Whittaker, Jones Harden, See, Meisch & Westbrook, 2011).

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Publications & Resources

If in need of counseling services, click here to access the Family Support Warm Line.  This will connect callers to a counselor with a call or text.

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FSU Early Head Start Annual Report


Our Team


Colleen Williams, MSW, LCSW

Director, (850) 320-8443


Jackie Ramirez, BA

Family Information & Enrollment Coordinator, (850) 627-9116

LaQuitta Robinson, M.Ed.   

Education & Disabilities Coordinator    (850) 627-9116

NiAra Randolph, M.Ed.

Home Based Coordinator, (850) 627-9116

Nikki Cole, AA, LPN

Health Services Coordinator, (850) 627-9116

Shaneasia Morgan-Smith, HV-CDA 

Home Visitor, (850) 544-6819

Tasha Griffin, AAS

Home Visitor, (850) 545-3407


Marie Guerra, HV-CDA

Bilingual Home Visitor, (850) 545-3632

Daisy Rivero, 

Bilingual Home Visitor, (850) 544-0244

Chrissy Web, BA 

Home Visitor, (850) 545-3381


Melonie Anthony 

Parent Ambassador, (850) 661-6474

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