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FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

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Who is eligible for Head Start services?

Head Start is for low income families who meet federal poverty guidelines. Ten percent of enrollment is reserved for children identified with special educational needs.

Early Head Start Eligibility: Pregnant moms and children between the ages of birth to three from families that meet the Federal poverty guidelines are eligible for Early Head Start services.
Head Start Eligibility: Children between the ages of four to five from families that meet the Federal poverty guidelines. Children must be age four by September 1.
Automatic Eligibility: Families are automatically Head Start eligible if one or more of the following apply:

  1. Family is a current recipient of TANF benefits from the Department of Health and Human Services (Provide proof of benefits).
  2. Family is receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) (Provide proof of award letter).
  3. Family is providing foster care for the child you are applying for (Provide proof of child placement).
  4. Family is homeless (No document of income is needed).

 

The federal poverty guidelines for 2012 is:

1........................................................... $11,170
2............................................................ 15,130
3............................................................ 19,090
4............................................................ 22,350
5............................................................ 27,010
6............................................................ 30,970
7............................................................ 34,930
8............................................................ 38,890

For families with more than 8 persons, add $4,550 for each additional person.

What Do I Need to Provide with my Eligibility Application?

You will need to provide proof of income for the past 12 months or previous calendar year, whichever more accurately reflects your family's current situation. Proof of income can be in the form of pay stubs (12 months), W-2 forms, individual tax form 1040, or written statement from employer, financial award letters, unemployment information.

You will need to provide proof of birth. You can do this by showing the child's birth certificate, hospital documentation, or newspaper birth announcement.

What Happens After I Apply?

Once you have submitted a complete eligibility application, the Enrollment Department will verify the information you submitted. Head Start operates off a wait list generated by priority points taken from the eligibility application. Once the child is placed on the list, the family is contacted and informed of either placement at a Center or placement of the wait list.

Can I volunteer at Head Start Centers?

Yes, volunteers are critical to the success of Head Start. The participation of volunteers has been an effective way of mobilizing community resources to strengthen Head Start Services. In Fiscal Year 1996, approximately 1,239,000 individuals volunteered to work at Head Start centers.  As Head Start enrollment expands, the need for volunteers increases.

Volunteers can be parents, professionals, local residents, and members of the larger community, board members and those who serve on policy and advisory groups. 

The participation of volunteers in classroom activities helps lower adult-child ratios, helps meet the need for bilingual adults for non-English speaking children and parents, and offers support to meet the needs of children with disabilities. Head Start volunteers may choose to give a few hours of time, or may volunteer every week.

Many organizations and individuals have worked with Head Start, such as Kiwanis, Rotary, local health professionals, corporations, senior citizens, and students. Community organizations also assist Head Start by donating goods and services to help local programs.

Head Start of Lane County has a volunteer coordinator that recruits and places volunteers.  Select the "Help Support Us" to get more information about volunteering.

 

Where can I find Head Start statistics?

Head Start statistics are available as fact sheets on the Head Start Bureau web site. The fact sheets offer the following information for Fiscal Year 1996 or Fiscal Year 1997: appropriations and actual expenditures for the Head Start budget; enrollment numbers categorized by the age of enrolled children; the racial/ethnic composition of enrolled children; the number of grantees, classrooms and centers; the average cost per child; the number of staff and volunteers working for Head Start; and other pertinent facts about the program.

 

What about services to children with disabilities?

Of course. Click here to learn more.