Head Start of Lane County will establish and annually review the program selection criteria. These criteria will consider the age of the child, and the extent to which the family meets the criteria established. A minimum of ten percent of enrollment opportunities each year will be made available to children with disabilities.

Over Income applicants will be selected for enrollment only when no Income Eligible (100% of the Federal Poverty Level/FPL or below) or Expanded Income Eligible (101% to 130% of the FPL) applicants are on the waiting list. No more than 10% of enrolled slots will be granted to children/ families deemed to be Over Income.


  1. The Head Start database will develop a waiting list report using the following point system:
    1. Child’s age (25 points maximum possible)
      1. 25 points – Four year olds (4 years – 4+)
      2. 10 points – Three years, six months – three years, 11 months
      3. 00 points – three years – three years, five months
    2. Child’s Health (20 points possible) (e.g. ADHD/ADD, diabetes, heart condition, conditions requiring medications [asthma, eczema, seizure], traumatic brain injury, visual impairment, hearing impairment, other)
      1. 10 points – First diagnosed medical issue, five points for any additional, maximum to 20.
    3. Child’s Disabilities (10 points maximum possible) (e.g. developmental delay, communication disorder, emotional/behavioral disorder, orthopedic impairment)
    4. Parental Status (15 points possible)
      1. 50 points – Child in foster care
      2. 15 points – Child is not in foster care, but is not living with a biological or adoptive parent
      3. 10 points – Only one adult lives in the home
      4. 10 points – Parent or guardian needs an interpreter
      5. 10 points – Parent is receiving disability payment
    5. Environmental (30 points possible)
      1. Children will receive points if their immediate family has faced any of the following issues in the past five years:
        1. Drug or alcohol abuse
        2. Domestic violence
        3. Homelessness
          1. All currently homeless families will be prioritized for enrollment (100 priority points assigned)
        4. Previous foster care/previous Child Protective Services involvement
        5. Migrant worker
        6. Incarceration of a parent
        7. Death in the family
        8. Divorce / Family breakup
        9. Child abuse/neglect
        10. Military deployment / military service / veteran
        11. Depressed mood, anxiety, or other mental health concerns
  2. Mid-year vacancies that occur in the preschool model will be filled with an Early Head Start (EHS) transitioning child. If no EHS child is awaiting HS placement, a currently enrolled HS student requesting transfer will be offered placement. If no currently enrolled HS student is awaiting transfer, an age eligible wait listed children will be offer placement.  Children currently enrolled in EHS will be given top priority for placement opportunities (see Child Assignment to Classroom policy). Siblings living in the same household will be prioritized for enrollment, as long as the 10 percent (10%) maximum for Over Income slots allows.
  3. The ERSEA department will attach all legal documents, referrals, IFSPs or health information to the child’s electronic file, when these documents are received with the Eligibility Application, or during the Eligibility process.
  4. The Full Day Regional Assistant, together with the ERSEA and/or Full Day Manager will determine if a family qualifies for full day/full year model.
  5. All eligible families will be placed on the appropriate wait list(s) by the ERSEA department.
  6. ERSEA staff will communicate directly with the parent/guardian regarding the status of the application. This communication will usually be a hard copy letter mailed to the family’s mailing address. However, application status may also be communicated via email, text or voice, depending upon the family’s preference and/or staff ability to reach the family using that specific mode of communication. Any communication or attempts to communicate with the family will be noted in the Eligibility section of the child’s electronic record. Application status communication will include one of the following topics:
    1. Family is eligible and child placed on wait list.
    2. More information or documentation required.
    3. Family is over income but may be enrolled as space allows.
  7. Age eligible children that are not enrolled in a given program year must re-establish eligibility to be considered for enrollment in the following program year.
  8. Selection of Over-income children: Enrollment staff will consult with ERSEA Manager prior to offering a slot to an over income family. When eligibility is determined for over income applicants (up to 10 percent of total enrollment), the criteria in the Selection policy will be used. Over income applicants that fall within 101% – 130% of the poverty guideline will selected and offered placement before families who fall above 131%- of the poverty guideline. Over income families will not be selected unless there is no waiting list of Income Eligible or Expanded Income Eligible applicants.

This policy complies with Head Start Performance Standard 1302.16(a)-(c)
It was approved by Policy Council on September 1997.March 2002. May 2003. April 2004. May 2005. May 2010. June 2010. August 2012. March 2021. March 2022
It was approved by the Board of Directors on November 2009. May 2010. June 2010. October 2012. March 2021. March 2022

Updated March 2000,October 2000, April 2001, January 2002, February 2002. May 2003.April 2004. November 2004. May 2005. March 2010. July 2010.August 2012. April 2018. February 2019. March 2021. March 2022.

© 1995 – 2022.Head Start of Lane County. All rights reserved.

REVIEWED: December 2020. March 2021. February 2022.