Apply for the Program

Father, son, and daughter touching the belly of a pregnant mother

Head Start and Early Head Start provide free learning and development services to children ages birth to five and pregnant women from low income families. Your local Head Start or Early Head Start program determines eligibility.

How Do I Apply for Head Start and Early Head Start?

You must apply to a Head Start or Early Head Start program in your community, closest to where you live. Your local program will provide the required forms and answer your questions. They will also tell you what documents you should bring with you to apply.

You must register with a program in your community. There is no way to register on this website.

How Do I Find a Local Program?

  • Use the Head Start Locator to find a Head Start program near your home. Call the phone number listed to find out the next steps in the process.
  • If you need more help to find a Head Start program near your home, call 1-866-763-6481 or use the Contact Us link at the top of the page.

Is My Family Eligible?

Pregnant mother, father, and son smiling

In general, eligibility is based on family income at or below the poverty level. Families with other situations including homelessness, and children in foster care, or receiving SSI or TANF also are eligible.

It is very important to contact the Head Start or Early Head Start in your community to find out about their local requirements for enrolling your child. Due to limited government funding, there are not enough spaces for all eligible children. If there is not a space for you and your child at this time, ask the program to put your family on the waiting list.

Other Resources

Apply for the Program. HHS/ACF/OHS. 2014. English.

Last Reviewed: March 2014

Last Updated: May 29, 2014