Head Start and Early Head Start

Head Start and Early Head Start programs help young children grow up healthy and get ready for kindergarten. These programs help the whole family by providing education and health services to both children and parents. Head Start is for 3-5 year old children and their parents, and Early Head Start is for pregnant women or new mothers and their infants or toddlers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Program Benefits Am I eligible? How do I apply?

Head Start and Early Head Start programs are run by local agencies, so benefits may be different near you. Typically, these programs are free to those that qualify, and they provide services such as:

  • Children’s education and activities to help social development
  • Transportation for children to and from program sites
  • Home-based services such as education for parents about nutrition and health, parenting skills, and more.
  • Health services and nutritious meals
  • Services and education to improve the lives of parents including training for reading skills, new job-related skills, parenting classes.

You may be eligible for Head Start or Early Head Start if:

  • You are pregnant, if you are a parent with a disability, or if you have a child with a disability
  • You have a child between the ages of 6 weeks and 5 years
  • Your family receives TANF assistance or Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Your child is a foster child or has other risk factors for emotional or developmental difficulties
  • Your income is not more than the amounts below (except if you live in Hawaii or Alaska):

You or your child(ren) do not have to be a U.S. citizen to qualify for the Head Start or Early Head Start program.

Number of people in your household:  

If your annual household income is less than $ you may be eligible for Head Start or Early Head Start.

Your local Head Start agency will provide the required forms and answer questions about the program. If you need more help to find a Head Start or Early Head Start program in your area, please call the Head Start Knowledge and Information Management Services (toll free) 1 866 763-6481.

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