If you need help related to preschool for low income families either for you or someone you know, then this article will be the right one to read. Even so, we will mainly focus on a program called Head Start, which promotes school readiness mainly for kids ages birth to 5 from families with low income by encouraging their development comprehensively. There’s also a program named Early Head Start that serves mainly infants and toddlers under the age of 3, along with pregnant women. We will focus on those, so we won’t specifically discuss about child care for low income single mothers. Even so, you can always find out more information about your eligibility by keep reading.
Both Head Start and Early Head Start programs relate to not only the preschool for low income families, but also day care programs for low income families. The varieties of program depend on the local community’s needs. Many of those are based in schools and centers, although there are also programs that are located in family child care homes and child care centers.
Help with Preschool for Low Income Families through Head Start
Given the nature of the programs both Head Start and Early Head Start offer, the services offered are thus free. Even so, to benefit from those programs, such as preschool for low income families, you need to be eligible. The local Early Head Start or Head Start program will be the one to determine it in order to obtain, let’s say, free child day care.
So, how to apply for the programs? First of all, you need to apply to a Head Start or Early Head Start program in your local community first, the closest to where you’re currently living at. The local program will be the one to provide you all the forms required for the program, as well as answering all your questions related to, for example, preschool for low income families. In addition to that, they will inform you all the documents you have to bring with you for application as well. Registering with a program in community, hence, is a must. You cannot register on Head Start or Early Head Start website.
The next question will be how to find a local program where you can register for your application to meet your needs, such as preschool for low income families or child care assistance program. First, you can simply visit Head Start and Early Head Start’s official website and use the Head Start Locator feature in order to find the nearest program from your home. Along with the search result, there will be phone number listed as well; call the number for further details and information related to the next steps to advance your application for low income daycare assistance. More help to find the nearest Head Start and Early Head Start program from your home can also through a phone call to their phone number or Contact Us menu on the website.
How will your family be eligible for Early Head Start or Head Start program? In general, your eligibility for the preschool for low income families program is determined by your family income. It should at or less than the poverty level as ruled by the Us Poverty Guidelines that are commonly used to determine the financial eligibility for the low income families programs. Read the information stated on the poverty guidelines carefully since the figures may be different for different states. Also, note that the poverty guideline is also made by considering the size of the household.
Your eligibility for the preschool for low income families programs, such as low income child care, may also be determined by other situations, such as children in foster care, homelessness, or receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). These conditions give you eligibility to get the facilities of preschool program for low income families.
Regarding to your eligibility, though, it is always very important to contact the local Head Start or Early Head Start in the community first in order to figure out about the local requirements for enrolling your children to the preschool for low income families program. Since the government funding is limited, unfortunately not all eligible children will be accepted in the program. Even so, you can still put your kids on the waiting list if there’s no space for your family at this time.
If preschool for low income families with children who have disabilities or special needs is what you are looking for, you may not need to worry too much. As stated in the guideline 2007, starting from the fiscal year 2009, “not less than ten percent of total number of kids enrolled by every agency and delegate agency are going to be kids with disabilities who are considered eligible for kind of special education as well as other related services, or services of early intervention by the local agency or State providing service under part C or section 619 of education act of disabilities.
What if your family income is higher when compared to the ones mentioned in poverty guidelines? Programs from Head Start, such as preschool for low income families, may enroll until 10 percent of children who come from family with income above the guidelines. In addition to that, programs may serve up to 35 percent more of poverty line as well if the program is able to guarantee that specific conditions in the guideline have been fulfilled.
Due to various reasons, there might still be chances that your family and children may not be eligible for the Head Start or Early Head Start programs like preschool for low income families. And if this happens, you do not need to worry since Head Start and Early Head Start are not the only options you have. There is the Child Care Aware program that will help you locate other child care services in your local community. Visit www.childcareaware.org or contact them via a toll-free phone call at 800-424-2246.
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- Early Childhood Learning & Knowledge Center
- About Early Head Start
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- Early Head Start FAQ’s
- Head Start Locator
- The Poverty Guidelines
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