Head Start Policy and Regulations

1302.14 Selection process.

(a) Selection criteria. (1) A program must annually establish selection criteria that weigh the prioritization of selection of participants, based on community needs identified in the community needs assessment as described in §1302.11(b), and including family income, whether the child is homeless, whether the child is in foster care, the child’s age, whether the child is eligible for special education and related services, or early intervention services, as appropriate, as determined under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq.) and, other relevant family or child risk factors.

(2) If a program serves migrant or seasonal families, it must select participants according to criteria in paragraph (a)(1) of this section, and give priority to children whose families can demonstrate they have relocated frequently within the past two-years to pursue agricultural work.

(3) If a program operates in a service area where Head Start eligible children can enroll in high-quality publicly funded pre-kindergarten for a full school day, the program must prioritize younger children as part of the selection criteria in paragraph (a)(1) of this section. If this priority would disrupt partnerships with local education agencies, then it is not required. An American Indian and Alaska Native or Migrant or Seasonal Head Start program must consider whether such prioritization is appropriate in their community.

(4) A program must not deny enrollment based on a disability or chronic health condition or its severity.

(b) Children eligible for services under IDEA. (1) A program must ensure at least 10 percent of its total funded enrollment is filled by children eligible for services under IDEA, unless the responsible HHS official grants a waiver.

(2) If the requirement in paragraph (b)(1) of this section has been met, children eligible for services under IDEA should be prioritized for the available slots in accordance with the program’s selection criteria described in paragraph (a) of this section.

(c) Waiting lists. A program must develop at the beginning of each enrollment year and maintain during the year a waiting list that ranks children according to the program’s selection criteria.

Historical Document