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Policy

Head Start of Lane County selects children for enrollment according to Federal age/income eligibility criteria, as well as Agency created priority points based on the Community Assessment

Procedure

  1. Selection of child/family from the wait list follows Federal and Agency eligibility requirements.
  2. Age eligibilty three year and four year old children from the neediest families are selected for the Head Start (HS) portion of the program. The neediest families who fit age requirements are selected for the Early Head Start (EHS) portion of the program. Need is determined by Agency created priority points, which are based on the Community Assessment.
  3. The ERSEA Committee (which includes parent and staff representatives) updates enrollment policies annually to refocus enrollment priorities according to community needs and federal requirements.
  4. The Community Assessment is used to determine the prioritization of children to best reflect the need and demographics of the community.
  5. The Agency monitors all of the above activities.
  6. In the HS portion of the program, each child enrolled must be at least three years old by the local school system cutoff date for kindergarten eligibility. (see Selection policy). Certain exceptions may apply (see Child Assignment to Classroom policy).
  7. When an opening occurs, and there is no wait list for the classroom, up to ten percent of children program-wide may be from over-income families who who could benefit from HS or EHS services.
  8. When an Eligibility Application (EA) is received at the central office:
    1. Date stamp with the date received at the central office.
    2. Verify attachments and keep with the EA:
      1. Verify the size of the family.
      2. Families who are applying for a foster child, or who are currently homeless, will be categorically eligible.
      3. Families who are currently receiving TANF benefits or Supplemental Security Income will be considered automatically income eligible.
      4. If neither #2 nor #3 above apply, request income verification for the last twelve (12) months or prior calendar year. Income eligibility will be established using current Federal poverty level guidelines, from individual income tax form 1040, -2 forms, pay stubs, written statement from employers, financial aid scholarships or grants, etc.
      5. Birth date will be verified by birth certificate, medical card, immunization record or hospital verification, etc.
      6. Immunization status is verified by the Health Services Assistant.
      7. Information from Early Childhood CARES (EC CARES) will be used to confirm disability information.
  9. An Eligibility interview (EI) , to confirm correct and complete application information, will be conducted with thesignatory applicant after the initial EA is received. The EI will take place in person if possible, unless appearing for the EI would pose a burden or hardship to the family. If appearing in person for the interview is a hardship, staff will make a note of it in the child’s file and will conduct the EI by phone.
  10. EA information will be entered into the database by the central office Receptionist. (See the EA Process Manual). ERSEA staff will sign the federal Head Start Eligibility Verification Sheet statements regarding income eligibility and documents reviewed by staff, or other staff who have received the eligibility training, will conduct the EI with the signatory application and sign the EI worksheet. The signed EI worksheet will be included in each child’s hard copy application as proof that the EI has taken place.
    1. Immunization information is entered into the database by the Health Services Assistant.
  11. ERSEA staff and other staff who conduct the EI,  will receive annual training to ensure that they are fully aware of the consequences established by the grantee for any employee who knowingly sign commits fraud in any part of the eligibility, intake and enrollment process.

This policy complies with Head Start Performance Standard 45 CFR Section 1305
It has been approved by Policy Council on January 13, 2004. June 2010. December 2015.
It has been approved by Board of Directors June 2010. December 2015.

Updated December 2003. March 2008. July 2010. August 2014. October 2015. October 2019

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