Head Start and Early Head Start Eligibility and Enrollment Priorities

To be eligible for services, applicants must be pregnant or have a child age 0 to 5 years old. All applicants are categorically eligible based on age, income, homelessness, foster child and/or Early Head Start Transition.  (5 year old applicants must not be eligible for kindergarten enrollment at a public school.  In general the public school cutoff date for kindergarten entrance is September 1st.)

Head Start Selection/Enrollment Priorities

  1. Eligible Early Head Start Transition
  2. Children who are Homeless or in Foster Care
  3. Children from the Lowest Income family
  4. 100 – 130% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines
  5. Over 130% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines

Early Head Start Selection/Enrollment Priorities

  1. Children who are Homeless or in Foster Care
  2. Pregnant mothers
  3. Children from the Lowest Income family
  4. Youngest child on eligibility list
  5. 100 – 130% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines
  6. Over 130% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines
  • A family may be eligible for services due to receipt of public assistance (TANF, Cal Works), Supplemental Security Income, or foster care placement.
  • At least 10% of the number of enrollment opportunities are reserved for children with diagnosed special needs. Once enrollment of children eligible for services under IDEA reaches 10%, selection for remaining available slots will be made in accordance with the selection criteria listed above.
  • Families who are over income (above Federal Poverty Guidelines) become eligible when there are no more income eligible applicants on the wait list.

See Federal Poverty Guidelines at: https://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty-guidelines