General Program Requirements
Children from age three to five years old from families with low income, according to the Poverty Guidelines published annually by the Federal government, are eligible for Head Start services.
Children in foster care, homeless children, and children from families receiving public assistance (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or Supplemental Security Income) are categorically eligible for Head Start services regardless of income.
A minimum of 10% enrollment must be children with disabilities. Head Start ensures appropriate placement as per the child’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP). If there is no enrollment opportunity within a child’s school district, then efforts will be made to place the child in another Head Start center when possible. This may include age-eligible children who are considered to be “over-income” based on a gross annual household income which is above the applicable Federal Poverty Guideline.
Head Start may also serve up to an additional 35 percent of children from families whose incomes are up to 130% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines may be enrolled, provided that every effort is made ensure that the Program:
- Meets the needs of all income-eligible children as prioritized by the Program’s Selection Criteria
- Has exhausted all wait list and outreach efforts
- Complies with the federal requirement of having a minimum of 10% of enrollment be children with disabilities
- Meets the needs of all “over-income” children who are considered eligible because of their certified disability
No more than 35% of total enrollment can be children from families with income above the applicable Federal Poverty Guideline. This category may include:
- Age-eligible children with a certified disability who are over-income.
- Age-eligible children of families whose gross annual income is up to 130% of the applicable income Federal Poverty Guideline.
Your Next Steps
Thank you for your interest in enrolling your age-eligible child in Head Start.
Mass registration for the upcoming school year is held annually at various outreach sites from March through May. Contact the Head Start Central Office for scheduled dates and locations.
Outside of this period, registration is conducted throughout the school year by appointment only.
1. Contact the Head Start Central office at 475-0484 and/or complete the online Eligibility Inquiry Form.
2. Your information will be placed on the Late Registration Call Back Log.
3. Family Service Staff will contact you to schedule an appointment to determine your child's eligibility for the program and inform you of the required documents which must be brought to your appointment.
4. During your scheduled appointment, Staff will review all required documents to determine if your family meets our eligibility requirements. If your family is found eligible, then your child will be registered. If you are missing any of the documents needed to determine your eligibility, then you must submit them to the Head Start Central Office before your child’s registration can be completed.
5. Registered children are placed on their center’s waiting list until space becomes available.