This section of the Head Start Act highlights eligibility information, including new provisions for prioritizing the enrollment of homeless children, for enrolling children whose family incomes range between 100–130 percent of the poverty line, and for broadening eligibility for enrollment in rural communities.
This section of the Head Start Program Performance Standards provides requirements and procedures for the eligibility determination, recruitment, selection, enrollment, and attendance of children in Head Start programs and explains policies concerning charging fees and determining community needs and recruitment areas. Head Start program directors and management should reference this section as they establish policies and procedures for recruitment and selection criteria.
These HHS Poverty Guidelines and Section 645 of the Head Start Act are used to determine income eligibility for participation in Head Start and Early Head Start programs. Program staff should refer to these resources when working with families.
Head Start Program Definition of Income (ACF-IM-HS-09-02 Attachment)
This document defines “income” for the purpose of determining Head Start eligibility. (Note: The document is an attachment to the 2009 Poverty Guidelines and while the guidelines are outdated, the attached definition remains current.)
Monthly Enrollment Reporting (ACF-PI-HS-08-06)
This Program Instruction memo explains the monthly reporting requirement for enrollment and provides instructions for accessing the Head Start Enterprise System (HSES) to complete the report.
Verifying Income Eligibility for Enrollment in Head Start and Early Head Start-Webcast
This webcast (2010), which features Yvette Sanchez Fuentes, Office of Head Start Director, explains how to use the Head Start Eligibility and Verification Form to review the income of prospective families.
Income Eligibility for Enrollment in Head Start and Early Head Start Programs (ACF-PI-HS-10-02)
This Program Instruction memo reviews requirements for verifying family income before determining a child’s eligibility and explains the required use of the Head Start Eligibility Verification form, which is provided as an attachment to the memo.
Enrollment and Re-enrollment of Migrant Children (ACF-PI-HS-10-03)
This Program Instruction memo emphasizes the importance for Migrant and Seasonal Head Start grantees to accurately count the number of Head Start children they serve and suggests using unique identifiers to guarantee that migrant children are counted only once a year.
Early Head Start Tip Sheet No. 19: How do the requirements regarding enrolling at least 10 percent of children with disabilities apply for an agency that has both a Head Start and an Early Head Start program with one grant award? (Clarification on enrolling children with disabilities in Head Start and Early Head Start)
This tip sheet clarifies the requirement that children with disabilities must make up at least 10 percent of the total enrollment of agencies that have Head Start and Early Head Start programs under one grant award.
This map and chart identifies refugees that have entered states within each Head Start region during 2012. This resource is helpful for Head Start programs' recruitment efforts and for use in their Community Assessments. Users should seek more information to determine whether these refugees include children of Head Start age by contacting their state office of Refugee Resettlement.