FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

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:

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

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.


A volunteer application is completed and submitted to the Volunteer Coordinator. Once placement is found two orientations are scheduled. One to do more paperwork and one at the site level to learn the site ins and outs, like where to park, how to get in, where to put your personal belongings. If you are interested please call 541-747-2425 extension 1227.

If you might be interested in working in Early Childhood Education as a career, consider participating in the SEEKERS Program. For more information, call 541.747.2425 extension 1264.

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.

Head Start of Lane County (“Head Start”) is dedicated to returning, to the extent possible, to a lively and dynamic work sites where all Head Start community members can flourish. Head Start is also committed to advancing the health of Head Start community members, promoting the safety of our in-person learning environment, and contributing to the decline of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.  

Head Start is following federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and guidance related to the COVID-19 pandemic closely, including executive orders and announcements issued by Oregon Governor Kate Brown, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) guidance and regulations, the Oregon Department of Education guidance, and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance related to the new evidence on the highly contagious B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant of COVID-19. 

You will find answers to common questions regarding COVID-19, COVID-19 vaccines, and face coverings, and Head Start’s response here. Questions and answers will be updated based on federal, state, and local laws, ordinances, regulations, and guidance, so check back often for more information.  

This FAQ represents key topics and are answered from a Head Start perspective.