Frequently asked questions
Who is eligible for Head Start and Early Head Start?
- Families whose income is at or below the Federal Poverty Guidelines for the twelve months prior to the application date OR whose income during the last tax year was below the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
- Families currently experiencing homelessness.
- Children currently placed in foster care.
- Families who currently receive TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families).
- Families in which one or more people are receiving SSI (Supplemental Security Income (this does not include survivor’s benefits or “Social Security Income.”))
- Children with disabilities and are receiving special education services.
How old does my child need to be to qualify?
- Head Start children must be 3 years, but younger than 5 years old on or before September 1st.
Early Head Start serves pregnant women and children until their 3rd birthday.
Is there an application deadline?
- We take applications for both programs throughout the school year.
How do I apply?
- All applications must be completed with one of our trained staff members. Please allow for 1 ½ to 2 hours for your application. The amount of time required depends on each family’s unique situation(s).
- Complete a pre-application on our website. Upon successfully completing a pre-application, a staff member will contact you within two weeks to schedule an in-person meeting to complete your application.
- Call our main office and ask to be recruited. Our staff will ask a few questions about how and where to contact you and another staff member will contact you within two weeks to schedule an in-person meeting to complete your application.
What if my family makes too much money? Should I still apply?
- Absolutely! Some families considered to be “over-income” may still qualify for our services. We are also permitted to serve a very small number of families regardless of their income. These families, like all of our families, are selected based on risk factors in the child’s life.
What can I do to help with the application process?
- From the time you first contact us, it is very important that you keep us up-to-date with any changes to your phone number or address.
- If you are concerned that your phone number may be disconnected or changed before we can reach you, please provide us with a second number to contact you.
- Make sure your voicemail box doesn’t get full. We often can’t reach families because voicemail boxes are full or “not set up.”
- Check the list of things required to provide at application and have them with you for your appointment. If you are unsure of how to gather some of those documents, our staff can provide suggestions before hand.
- Please allow for 1½ to 2 hours for your application. The amount of time required depends on each family’s unique situation(s).
What if I don't have a copy of my...?
- Income – Employers typically keep some record of payroll for longer than one year. You can request a copy of your paychecks, a letter from the employer stating how much you make/made, or a copy of your W2. You can also provide your IRS form 1040 as proof of income. We do count many types of income, so if you are unsure of how to find copies of other required documents, you can contact our Eligibility Specialist. He/She can provide some suggestions.
- Child’s IFSP (Individualized Family Service Plan) – Contact your child’s special education provider. They are required by law to provide you with a copy.
- TANF – Contact DHS (Department of Human Services). If you are currently receiving benefits, they will be able to provide you with another letter or statement of benefits.
- SSI – Contact DHS (Department of Human Services). If you are currently receiving benefits, they will be able to provide you with another letter or statement of benefits.
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