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About GBCA Head Start/Early Head Start

ABOUT GBCA HEAD START/EARLY HEAD START

Head Start and Early Head Start are federal programs that serve the education, psychological, and health needs of low-income infant, toddlers, preschool children and their families. Head Start began in 1965 as an eight-week summer program that quickly expanded into a school year program. Early Head Start evolved out of Head Start’s long history of providing services to infants and toddlers through Parent Child Centers, Comprehensive Child Development Centers (CCDPs) and Migrant Head Start programs.

Since 1968 Greater Bergen Community Action (formerly BCCAP) has served more than 25,000 families through their Bergen County, Jersey City and Paterson Head Start and Early Head Start programs. They began operating Bergen County Head Start in 1968 and in 2010, they added Early Head Start to their Bergen County program. In the fall of 2013, the agency began operating Head Start and Early Head Start programs in the city of Paterson and in 2014 the same programs in the city of Jersey City. 

At GBCA Head Start/Early Head Start, the goal is to not only get the child ready for kindergarten, but to prepare the entire family for life beyond the program. Our extensive services and resources range from early childhood education to health, nutrition, parent education, family counseling, financial counseling, and more.

LEADERSHIP YOU CAN COUNT ON

Nancy Griner

GBCA Head Start Program and Bergen County Area Director

Nancy Griner has been the Director of the Greater Bergen Community Action Head Start/Early Head Start program for 15 years.  She oversees the Head Start and Early Head Start programs in Paterson, Jersey City and Bergen County.  These programs provide high quality early childhood learning experiences and comprehensive services for over 2,000 children and families in Passaic, Bergen and Hudson counties.  Nancy is a certified P-3 and K-8 teacher and has her supervisor and principal’s license from the NJ Department of Education.

Gwendolyn Wright

Paterson Area Director

Gwendolyn Wright joined the Greater Bergen Community Action Head Start Program in March of 2017.  She oversees the Head Start and Early Head Start programs in Paterson.  These programs provide high quality early childhood learning experiences and comprehensive services for over 600 children and families in Paterson.  Gwen is certified in Early Childhood Education and has a P-3 and more than 10 years as an early childhood Teacher.  She has her supervisor certification and a CE (Certificate of Eligibility) for a principal’s license from the NJ Department of Education.

Mary Cudina

Jersey City Area Director

Mary Cudina was hired at GBCA as the Assoc. Director of Special Services in 2006.  Prior to that she consulted as a mental health specialist for the Head Start program.  Mary worked as Program Manager of the Bergen County Program for one year and has been the Area Director of Jersey City Head Start/Early Head Start for the past two years.

Mary is a licensed clinical social worker.  She has worked in the field of maternal and child health her whole career. She has worked in hospital based early intervention centers, inpatient units, community mental health centers and in- home counseling. 

Greater Bergen Community Action

Greater Bergen’s Head Start program provides free early childhood education and family services to low-income families in Bergen County, Jersey City and Paterson, NJ. Comprehensive services and resources prepare children for kindergarten, enhance their emotional and physical well-being, and foster stable family relationships.

Information

Contact Us

Bergen County Head Start

263 Lafayette Avenue

Cliffside Park NJ 07010

201-366-1020

Jersey City Head Start

93 Nelson Avenue

Jersey City, NJ 07307

201-884-1050

Paterson Head Start

500 E 35th Street

Paterson, NJ 07504

973-546- 2634

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