EligibilityWho is Eligible for Our Services?Children are eligible for ECEAP and Head Start based on their AGE and family INCOME. Up to 10 percent of ECEAP and Head Start children can be from families above the income limit if they have:
- Developmental Factors: such as developmental delay, disability, or other special needs.
- Environmental Factors: such as homelessness, family violence, chemical dependency, foster care, or incarcerated parents.
After eligibility is determined, children are prioritized for enrollment as space is available in their communities.Age Eligibility
- Home Based Early Head Start: Pregnant Mothers and Children Birth up to age 3. A qualified home visitor will visit home once a week for 90 minutes to share fun activities designed to advance child’s development. This option is available for pregnant mothers and families with children from birth to three years old that qualify for Early Head Start services.
- Full Day Head Start: 6 weeks to 5 years old Families must have a demonstrated need for full day and full year services. Services are provided 5 days a week, for a minimum of 6 hours a day.
- Part Day Head Start & ECEAP: Age 3-5 years old Services are provided part-time, three or four days a week. Classes are in session September through May with some year-round options.
*in effect 1/13/2021Family income is one key factor in determining eligibility. The federal poverty guidelines are used to evaluate family income.
Selection Priority CriteriaOESD #114 Early Learning Department acts with the intention of serving families with the greatest need. To ensure the most high-risk children are served, the program will develop selection criteria.
- Children found to be 100% or below of the FPL are considered income-eligible for all programs.
- Children found to be 110% or below of the FPL are considered eligible for ECEAP.
- If there are no longer any children on the waitlist below 100% FPL, Head Start may enroll up to 35% of its available slots with children who are 100-130% FPL.
- 10% of applicants may exceed the income guidelines.
- For ECEAP the program may petition the State to increase this to 25%.
Application ProcessWe accept applications all year.
- What is selection criteria? Selection criteria is a way to prioritize and select the children with the greatest need.
- How we determine the criteria? The selection criteria will be updated by our program annually using the latest Community Needs Assessment data AND the Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) Research-Based Risk Factors. (HS 1302.14, EC B-210).
- How often and why do we review selection criteria? These are reviewed and approved year after year by Policy Council, to ensure our program meets community needs and builds on strengths and resources. (HS 1302.11b).
- For Early Head Start and Head Start, a minimum of 10% of children selected must have an IFSP (Individual Family Service Plan) or IEP (Individual Education Plan).
- For ECEAP (Early Childhood Education Assistance Program), the DCYF provides their own priority point system updated annually that OESD is required to use when placing ECEAP children. (EC B-210)