Enrollment in Head Start

How do I enroll my child into the Head Start/Early Head Start Program?

In order for your child to be eligible for the Head Start program, you must first meet the income and age guidelines.

Federal Income guidelines are established by the Department of Health and Human Service each year and are classified by the number of family members. The Head Start/Early Head Start Performance Standards define family members as all persons living in the same household who are: supported by the income of the parent(s) or guardians(s) of the child enrolling or participating in the program, and related to the parent(s) or guardians(s) by blood, marriage, or adoption. Up to ten percent of Head Start/Early Head Start’s enrollment can be over the poverty guidelines; however precedence is given to those that are income qualified first. If a child has been found income eligible and is participating in a Early Head Start program, he or she remains income eligible throughout that enrollment in Early Head Start, the income will have to be re-verified when transitioning to the Head Start program. If a child has been found income eligible and is participating in a Head Start program, he or she remains income eligible through that enrollment year and the immediately succeeding enrollment year.

Age Guidelines for Head Start

The age eligible guidelines follow the state issued date of public school eligibility (Age 3 on or before July 31st of the current year in Nebraska, September 1st in Kansas). No child will qualify for service if they do not meet the minimum age requirement. Children also must not turn five before the eligibility date unless they have a verified disability and possess an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) that states that Head Start is the best placement for the child.

Age Guidelines for Early Head Start

The age eligible guidelines follow the state issued date of public school eligibility (pregnant women, and children age 0- 36 months on or before July 31st of the current year in Nebraska, September 1st in Kansas). No child will qualify for service if they do not meet the minimum age requirement.

If your child is eligible for the Head Start/Early Head Start program, your first step would be to contact the Head Start Center closest you . When setting up an appointment, the Family Educator or Family Service Assistant will ask you to bring the following documentation to the visit:

  • Health Provider’s verification of pregnancy ( EHS-PREGNANT WOMEN ONLY)
  • Current Immunization Record ( see this website for immunization requirements )
  • Birth Certificate of Hospital record with Date of Birth
  • Social Security Card for the eligible child
  • Proof of Insurance (if any)
  • Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) or Individualized Education Plan (IEP) (if applicable)
  • Proof of Income for the past 12 months

Failure to bring any of the above documentation can delay the intake process and possible placement of your children into the program.