Service Area and Eligibility Guidelines
The Head Start Program provides comprehensive services to eligible preschool children and their families living on Guam. Children must meet age and income eligibility guidelines in order to be eligible for Head Start.
The Guam Department of Education (GDOE) is the grantee for the Guam Head Start Program. Thus, Head Start centers are located in nearly all of the public elementary schools on island.
Head Start follows the kindergarten cut-off date of July 31 (in accordance with GDOE guidelines) to determine age eligibility. This means that children are considered “age-eligible” for Head Start if they do not qualify for kindergarten because they will not be five years old by July 31. Children are also considered “age-eligible” if they will be three or four years old by July 31.
The HHS Poverty Guidelinesand Section 645 of the Head Start Act are used to determine income eligibility for participation in Head Start. The guidelines are issued each year in the Federal Register by the Department of Health and Human Services. Head Start verifies the combined gross annual income or parents/guardians in the household to determine income eligibility.
Children from homeless families and families receiving public assistance such as TANF or SSI are also eligible. Foster children are eligible regardless of their foster family’s income.
In addition, age-eligible children with special needs who do not meet the income guidelines are eligible for Head Start if the child’s disability has been certified by the GDOE Division of Special Education. These "over-income" children, however, may only comprise 10% of the total number of funded enrollment.
Recruitment and Child Selection
The Family Services Staff are primarily responsible for the recruitment of children for Head Start. They verify eligibility, conduct selection, and process enrollment into the classroom. Recruitment occurs year-round. Mass registration of children for the upcoming school year is held from April through June. Selection of children is conducted in July after mass registration has ended.
Selection Criteria is used to prioritize the selection of participants, based on community needs identified in the community needs assessment and includes family income, whether the child is homeless, whether the child is in foster care, the child’s age, whether the child is eligible for special education and related services, or early intervention services, as appropriate, and other relevant family or child risk factors. This criteria is based on the triennial Community Assessment, approved by the Guam Head Start Policy Council and reviewed annually.
Using the selection criteria, Head Start identifies the children to be enrolled in each center at the beginning of the school year as well as those to be placed on the wait lists.Children who are placed on the wait list or who are registered after the initial selection date will be ranked in the same manner to determine who will be next for enrollment. The wait list continually changes as new children are registered.
You can view or download the Application Information Flyer by clicking on the Link below. This Flyer provides information on what to bring as well as the age and income guidelines to help determine your eligibility for the program.
You can also download and print the Part 1 of the Application and complete it to help you get started before you come in to get interviewed.
There are other documents that may be needed to complete determining eligibility based on your family’s situation. This is why we do not have an online application for you to complete. Our staff will conduct an interview, review your documents, and determine your eligibility before completing the registration process with you.
If you are interested in enrolling your child into the Guam Head Start Program, you can fill in the Eligibility Inquiry Form. One of our Family Service Staff will contact you to set up an appointment to determine your child's eligibility.
Click on the following link to complete the form. If you have not received a response, please Contact our Office at 475-0484 to follow up on your Eligibility Inquiry for the program.