Head Start is generally based on family income. Usually to be accepted into a Head Start center the family’s income has to be at or below the poverty level. There are different requirements that make a family eligible to join a Head Start program.
This includes families that are homeless and families receiving public assistance. Foster children are eligible and it does not matter the finical situation of the foster family. Head Start follows the federal poverty guidelines when evaluating a family’s income. The guidelines are focused on the size of the family. Each state has different poverty guidelines that they follow. (Poverty Guidelines and Determining Eligibility for Participation in Head Start Programs, 2018) Head Start programs can enroll up to 10 percent of children from families that have incomes above the poverty guidelines.
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(Maryland Head Start, 2018) Family income is only one element when determining eligibility of the program. There is an age requirement to be enrolled in the program. Babies can be accepted from 6 weeks to 5 years old. A family would be eligible if they have a child with special needs with an Induvial Education Program or an Individual Family Services Plan. If the parent has a disability or possess disabling condition. (Eligibility and Enrollment, 2018)