Selection/Prioritization: Analyze Enrollment

Selection involves assigning criteria or points to each eligible child to create a priority for enrollment. Each program needs a process for selection—typically facilitated by a selection form—to ensure that families who are experiencing homelessness receive a priority rating.

Case Study #1

Two families are applying to the Poplar Head Start program. Each family has a boy who is a little over 4-years-old. The program has immediate space for only one child, either Collin or Preston.

Your Task

Do the following:

  • Review and analyze the eligibility and selection forms for each child:
  • Decide which child you think Poplar Head Start should enroll immediately and why.
  • Read the analysis of which boy Poplar Head Start selected and why.

    Read the analysis – Case Study #1

    The Head Start Eligibility Verification Forms indicate that both Collin and Preston are eligible for Head Start. The selection forms indicate that Collin has 231 points and Preston has 250 points. Although Preston has more points, he is not the child that the program enrolled immediately. You can see that Collin’s total point count is 231. The number 1 at the end of his point count indicates that Collin is in a homeless situation. This gives him priority over other eligible applicants, even if the other applicants have more total points.

    Poplar Head Start created special codes on its selection form to make it easy to identify applicants with special circumstances. For example, a total point count ending in the number 1 indicates a homeless situation and a count ending in the number 2 indicates a foster child.

Case Study #2

The Cedar Early Head Start program received applications from two families. The program currently has an opening because one child just moved to another state. Before filling the opening from their waiting list, program staff reviewed the new applications from Glenda and Reggie.

Your Task

Do the following:

  • Review and analyze the eligibility and selection forms for each new applicant:
  • Decide whether Cedar Early Head Start should select from the waiting list or should enroll one of the new applicants and why.
  • Read the analysis of what Cedar Early Head Start did and why.

    Read the analysis – Case Study #2

    The Head Start Eligibility Verification Forms indicate that both Glenda and Reggie are eligible for Head Start. The selection forms indicate that Glenda and Reggie both have 66 points. Glenda’s form indicates that she is experiencing homelessness so Cedar Early Head Start program should enroll her in their program.

    This selection form uses a point system. Although homelessness is assigned 30 points, which is the highest number of points given for one criterion, other criteria also carry 30 points. Think about the following:

    • Could a child in a homeless situation ever end up with fewer points than another child? How?
    • Is there a way to ensure that a child in a homeless situation is given top priority? How?

Selection/Prioritization: Explore Information

Before you work on the selection/prioritization element of your enrollment plan, do the following:

  • Review the information in the links below.
  • Discuss with a colleague how the information might apply to your enrollment plan.

Selection/Prioritization: Build Your Plan

In creating your enrollment plan, use the checklist below as you review and develop strategies for selection criteria and prioritization to ensure that they address families experiencing homelessness. For more information, select the Tell me more links.

  • I have reviewed the selection forms in the Analyze Enrollment and Explore Information tabs. Tell me more

    I have reviewed the selection forms

    Consider the following questions:

    • Did you notice the numbering system Poplar Head Start used?
    • Did you notice the point system Cedar Early Head Start used?
    • How do these systems take into account families experiencing homelessness?
    • Do these systems ensure that families experiencing homelessness will be given top priority?
  • I have examined parts of the selection forms in the Analyze Enrollment and Explore Information tabs to determine if they will work in my program. Tell me more

    I have examined parts of the selection forms

    Consider the following questions:

    • Are there parts of the Poplar Head Start or Cedar Early Head Start forms that you can use in your own program? Which parts?
    • Are there parts of the forms that will not work in your program? Which parts? Why won’t they work? Can you modify them to make them work better for your program?
    • Are there other things you might want to include on the form?
  • I have thought about my selection form and prioritization strategies and how I might change them to take families experiencing homelessness into account. Tell me more

    I have thought about my selection form and prioritization strategies

    Consider the following questions:

    • What kind of selection system will work in your program?
    • What should you include on your selection form that will support families experiencing homelessness?
    • Does your current selection form ensure that families experiencing homelessness receive a priority rating?
  • I have begun to create, or update, my existing selection form and prioritization strategies. Tell me
    more

    I have begun to create, or update, my existing selection form and prioritization strategies

    Consider the following questions:

    • Is there information in the Explore Information tab that can help you create or update your selection form?
    • Do you need to change your existing form to take into account families experiencing homelessness? How should you change it?
    • What elements do you need to include in your form to support families experiencing homelessness?
    • Have you reviewed your form to see if it gives families experiencing homelessness priority? What did you determine?

Last Updated: July 9, 2014