Intake and Enrollment

Programs can offer families multiple options to complete the intake and enrollment process, including flexibility around location, time of day, and virtual or in-person interactions. Thoughtful planning allows programs to fill vacancies as soon as possible and ensure families who can benefit most from Head Start and Early Head Start services are enrolled.

Questions for Consideration

  • How do you use the intake and enrollment process to learn about families and their stories?
  • How do staff use the enrollment process from the start to build positive, goal-oriented relationships with families based on respect and trust?
  • How does the program create a welcoming, comfortable, and safe physical and emotional environment for families, virtually and in person?
  • How do staff practice nonjudgmental, strengths-based, and trauma-informed approaches in conversations with families about enrollment?
  • What processes do the program have to enroll families who speak a language that program staff do not know?
  • How do staff respect variations in families’ cultures, experiences, expectations, and child-rearing beliefs and practices?
  • How do staff work with families in completing enrollment paperwork in ways that respect a family’s culture, home language, and unique strengths?
  • How do staff ensure confidentiality in enrollment processes? How do staff encourage families to share their personal lives and experiences at their own pace?