Who Is Eligible for Head Start?

Pregnant Mothers and children from birth to age five who are from families with incomes below the poverty level guidelines are eligible for Head Start and Early Head Start services. Homeless children and families, and families receiving public assistance such as TANF or SSI are also eligible. Foster children are eligible regardless of their foster family’s income. The HHS Poverty Guidelines. 

Eligibility for Children with diagnosed disabilities

If your child has a diagnosed disability and has an Individual Family Service Plan IFSP or an Education Plan IEP that affects their learning ability or development, your child may qualify for enrollment in Head Start regardless of household income.

Application and Enrollment Information

Applications for enrollment into Head Start / Early Head Start are accepted any time during the year. Although applications are accepted at any time, to be considered for September, it is strongly recommended to submitt an application as early as February.

To complete an application for enrollment, contact the appropriate center for the area in which your family resides to schedule an application appointment. You may find this information on the “Locations” tab of our website. The application appointment will last approximately 20 minutes. Parents must bring the following documentation to the appointment in order to determine eligibility:

  • Documentation of all sources of income (12 months of check stubs, W-2 form, Federal 1040 tax form, etc.)
  • Child’s birth certificate
  • Any documentation regarding the child’s special needs or disability (if applicable)
  • Proof of residency (Driver’s license, New York ID, utility bill)
  • Child custody information/documentation (if applicable)

The selection process begins in June. Applications are reviewed using selection criteria to identify children and families with the greatest need for services. If selected, parents are notified as to the next steps in the enrollment process.

If a child is eligible to participate but there are no openings, parents are notified that the child has been placed on the waiting list. If a child is not eligible for the program, parents are also notified of this along with the reasons for ineligibility.

Applications are valid only for the program year in which they are completed. If a child is age eligible for the next program year, parents are urged to contact us again to complete another application for the new program year.

If selected to participate in the program, the following child health requirements must be met:

  • Complete medical exam, including hearing and vision screenings
  • Dental examination
  • Up-to-date immunizations

Parents are notified during August of any start-up activities, such as open houses,

teacher home visits, etc.

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Long Island Head Start

Central Administration
98 Austin Street, Patchogue, NY 11772
Phone (631) 758-5200
Business Hours Monday-Friday 8:00am-5:00pm

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