Get answers to your questions about the steps to enroll your child in a Head Start program. If you are pregnant, you can also follow these steps to enroll in Head Start services for yourself.
Does my family qualify for the Head Start program?
Your family qualifies for the Head Start program if your household income is at or below the poverty level. Check the Poverty Guidelines to see if your family qualifies.
Families who receive public assistance (TANF, SSI, or SNAP), and those with children in foster care or children who are homeless, also qualify regardless of income.
What is the Head Start program?
Head Start and Early Head Start programs provide low-income families with free learning and development services for their children ages birth to 5. All programs welcome children with disabilities. Some Early Head Start programs also provide prenatal services for pregnant people.
How do I apply for the Head Start program?
Talk to your local Head Start program. They’ll help you find out if your child qualifies, give you the forms you need, and tell you what documents you’ll need to submit.
If there is not a space for your child, you can ask to be added to the waiting list.
How to Find Your Local Head Start Program
Use the Head Start Center 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 (toll-free) 1-866-763-6481 Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–6 p.m. ET or use the “Contact Us” link at the top of the page.
Resource Type: Basic Page
National Centers: Office of Head Start
Last Updated: February 23, 2023