Head Start is a preschool education program to help children ages 3 – 5 prepare for school success. Head Start offers early learning programs and assessments as well as parenting education and support. Nutrition education, health and mental health services are also offered. The Early Head Start program is the companion program created to address the same needs of children ages birth to 3 and expectant mothers.
Both Head Start and Early Head Start welcome children with disabilities.
Who is eligible?
Head Start is available for children ages 3 – 5 from families who meet income limits. Children in foster care, homeless children, and children from families receiving public assistance (TANF or SSI) are eligible regardless of income.
Early Head Start is available for infants and toddlers under age 3 whose parent(s) meet income limits and for pregnant women who meet income limits. Children in foster care, children experiencing homelessness, and children from families receiving public assistance (TANF or SSI) are eligible regardless of income.
Programs may also accept a limited number of children who do not meet any of those eligibility criteria. CLICK HERE to learn more.
How can I apply?
Your community’s Head Start or Early Head Start office can help with understanding local requirements for enrolling your child. They will answer questions, provide the required forms, and list what documents to bring when applying.
Visit the Head Start locator or call 1-866-763-6481 from Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. for to find a local center.
Due to limited government funding, there are not enough spaces for all eligible children. If there is not a space for you and your child at this time, ask the program to put your family on the waiting list.
Need more information?
If you didn’t find what you need on this page click here to read more online or you can dial 2-1-1 (888-892-1162). Community Resource Specialists are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Last updated 1/20/2023