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Head Start

Head Start

Frequently Asked Questions

Head Start is a federally funded, comprehensive, child development program that encompasses all aspects of a child's development and learning. Preschools are usually privately funded, usually through tuition and fees that the parents have to pay. More information >>

Head Start provides free learning and development services to children ages 3 to 5 from low‐income families; however, Head Start is funded through our families support by volunteering, which turns into in‐kind dollars for the program to remain funded from year to year. To volunteer now please click on the link below for more information. Head Start welcomes children with disabilities.

  • Eligibility is based on age and income. Children age 3 to 4 years old by September 1st of the year in which you are applying or children age 5 after September 1st of the year you are applying are age eligible for the program.
  • Families with low income, according to the Poverty Guidelines published by the federal government, are eligible for Head Start and Early Head Start services (birth to 2 years old).
  • Children in foster care, homeless children, and children from families receiving public assistance (TANF or SSI) are categorically eligible for Head Start and Early Head Start services regardless of income.

If you need help finding a Head Start school site near you, call Head Start Administration at (813) 740‐7870, extension 379, or Head Start School Sites.

The Head Start Act of 2007 requires that, 10 percent of the total number of children actually enrolled by each Head Start agency and each delegate agency will be children with disabilities who are determined to be eligible for special education and related services, or early intervention services...by the State or local agency providing services under section 619 or part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act [IDEA].

Head Start programs may enroll up to 10% of children from families that have incomes above the Poverty Guidelines; however, this is only contingent upon all income eligible families in the community have placement in the program. Programs may also serve up to an additional 35% of children from families whose incomes are above the Poverty Guidelines, but below 130% of the poverty line if the program can ensure that certain conditions described in the section 645 (a)(1)(B)(iii)(II) of the Head Start Act have been met.

If you are ineligible for Head Start, the Child Care Aware program can help you in locating other childcare services in your community. To find the local child care resource and referral agency, please contact Child Care Aware toll‐free at 800‐424‐2246. Web site: http://www.childcareaware.org/.

Head Start welcomes volunteers. By becoming a volunteer you can help in the classroom and on field trips, assist in renovating centers, and support parent education. Your volunteer experience may later qualify you for training which can help you find employment in the child care field. For information about volunteering please contact our Parent Engagement office at (813) 740‐7870, extension 349.

Yes, we have certified Social Workers and Family Services Advocates readily available to provide support to our families with any assistance they need regarding housing, food, clothing, counseling, utilities assistance etc. to name a few. If you’re in need of any assistance please contact us at (813) 740‐7870.


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