Head Start enrollment staff will  prioritize full enrollment both at the beginning of the year and ongoing throughout the year. At Head Start sites where more than one classroom is located, assignment will not always be made directly to a classroom upon Intake. With the approval of the Regional Manager, children may be assigned to a classroom or teacher based on their needs, the skills of the teachers, available space, community collaborations  and other variables.


Assignment of a child into a classroom will be based on the following guidelines:

    1. Children who are three years old may be enrolled between June 1 and September when it meets the needs of the family and classroom.
    2. Classroom assignment for full day/full year classrooms will be determined by eligibility for full day, availability and parent choice.
    3. The child having the higher number of points assigned from the selection criteria will be offered enrollment. If there is only one opening and two children are eligible, the following will apply:
      1. In cases where two applications have the same number of points, the child with the earlier birth date will have priority.
      2. In cases where two applications have the same number of points and the same birth date, the application with the earliest received date (in ChildPlus, the start date on ‘New’ status) will have priority.

The following will also be taken into consideration:

  1. Parent preference
  2. Geographic location
  3. Community collaboration: contracts or agreements

Beginning of the year:

When children are accepted for enrollment at the beginning of the program year, the family will be informed that the child is accepted at the site. Classroom assignment may happen after Intake and may take into consideration the classroom demographics.This includes but is not limited to the following:

  1. the primary language of the child
  2. any known disability of the child
  3. the age of the child
  4. the gender of the child
  5. the area where transportation is available

During the year:

  1. When an opening occurs after classes have started and there is no wait list for the classroom, the Regional Manager may review other applications and discuss with appropriate Consultants. These applicants may be over-income or income-eligible with a birth date after the school cut off (September 2 or after).
  2. When an opening occurs after classes have started, the demographics of a classroom will be taken into consideration when selecting a child to enroll. For example, a child with special needs may need specific supports in the classroom. When  a classroom has a high number of children on an IFSP, it may not be an appropriate placement for some individuals In addition, children with special needs may be distributed among classroom staff to match child needs to teacher strengths. Explanatory notes will be entered into the child’s file.
  3. With a part day opening, transportation is sometimes only available in one area or not at all. If transportation is not available to the family and they require transportation, the Regional Assistant may move on to the next child whose family is able to self transport or lives in the area where transportation is available. Notes will be entered into the child’s file.

Policy Council approved: September 8, 2015

Updated: February 2019

Reviewed December 2020