What are Head Start & Early Head Start Programs?
Head Start is a comprehensive child development program that has served low-income families since 1965. This child-focused program serves children, ages three to five years, and their families with the goal of increasing school readiness in children. The services are provided for 9 to 10 months during the year.
Early Head Start's services target infants, toddlers, and pregnant women, to enhance the development of very young children, and to promote healthy family functioning. Early Head Start can help your child by providing intensive services beginning before birth and continuing during the critical first three years of life. Services are provided to pregnant women to assist in optimal prenatal development. The services are provided for 11 months during the year and are only available in Union county.
For Head Start locations click here.
Information Needed to Apply:
- Legal Birth Certificate
- Current Certificate of Immunization
- Proof of income for parent/legal guardian (most recent W-2 or pay stub)
- Social Security Numbers for ALL members of household
- Last TWO check stubs and Education/Employment Training Verification (Extended Year only)
Education: The education component provides children of all ethnic backgrounds and developmental levels with varied experiences that will help them develop socially, intellectually, physically, and emotionally.
Health: A comprehensive health program that includes physical, dental, medical, and nutritional services is provided to all enrolled children.
Special Needs: Educational opportunities are made available to all children diagnosed with disabilities regardless of their family's income. An individualized special education program is provided for children with special needs.
Parent Engagement: Planned programs and activities support the parent's role as the principal influence in their child's education and development. Parents are given opportunities to serve on program policy-making and planning committees.
Nutrition: Nutritious meals are provided through family style meal service at each Head Start center.
Social Services: Families develop Family Partnership Agreements with their local Head Start program. These agreements are designed to help families set goals, which will improve the conditions and quality of family life.
Who is Eligible?
Head Start accepts children who will turn three years old before September 1, and Early Head Start accepts children from birth to three years old from families whose income falls within the federal income guidelines.
Please contact your local Head Start Center for more details concerning Head Start and Early Head Start Income Guidelines. If you are unable to contact anyone at your local Head Start and Early Head Start Center, please call 803-366-5398.
At least ninety percent of those children enrolled meet the income guidelines; up to ten percent of children enrolled may be children from families that exceed the poverty income guidelines but meets the criteria established for selecting children who would benefit from Head Start and Early Head Start.
Ten percent of Head Start and Early Head Start total funded enrollment must be children with disabilities.
Head Start and Early Head Start may enroll an additional thirty-five percent of the total funded enrollment number whose families are neither income nor categorically eligible and whose family incomes are below 130%.
"In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, and reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity." To file a complaint of discrimination, write: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410. Individuals who are hearing impaired or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339.
"This institution is an equal opportunity provider."