Frequenly Asked Questions about Head Start

What is Early Head Start?

Early Head Start is a federally funded community-based program for low-income families for infants, and toddlers up to age 3. Early Head Start Program was derived from the Head Start Program.  After 3 years old, the child can enroll in Head Start Program if they still qualify.

What is Head Start?

Head Start, is a federally funded program that provides child and family development services to low-income families with infants and toddlers.  Head Start program is designed to foster stable family relationships, enhance children’s physical and emotional well-being, and establish an environment to develop strong cognitive skills.

Head Start program serves over 1 million children and their families each year in all 50 states.

Is my child eligible for Early Head Start or Head Start?

Children 6 weeks to age five from families with low income, according to the Poverty Guidelines published by the federal government, are eligible for Head Start and Early Head Start services.

Children in foster care, homeless children, and children from families receiving public assistance (TANF or SSI) are categorically eligible for Head Start and Early Head Start services regardless of income.

Pregnant women may also be eligible for Early Head Start.

Are children in foster care eligible for Early Head Start or Head Start?

Children in foster care are Head Start eligible, regardless of family income.

Does Head Start accept children with disabilities or special needs?

The Head Start Act of 2007 requires that, beginning in fiscal year 2009 (i.e. beginning October 1, 2008) “not less than 10 percent of the total number of children actually enrolled by each Head Start agency and each delegate agency will be children with disabilities who are determined to be eligible for special education and related services, or early intervention services…by the State or local agency providing services under section 619 or part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act [IDEA] (20 U.S.C. 1419, 1431 et seq.).”

What are the options if my child is ineligible for Head Start?

If you are ineligible for Head Start, the Child Care Aware program can help you in locating other childcare services in your community. To find the local child care resource and referral agency, please contact Child Care Aware toll-free at (800) 424-2246 or visit their website here.

How can I get involved with Head Start?

Head Start welcomes volunteers. By becoming a volunteer you can help in the classroom and on field trips, assist in renovating centers, and support parent education. Your volunteer experience may later qualify you for training which can help you find employment in the child care field.

Does my child have to be potty trained?

No, Head Start does not require children to be potty trained for enrollment.

If the child’s biological parents are not in the household, what is needed for enrollment?

Legal court documents, adoption papers, or relevant documents stating that the child is temporarily in your care.

What credentials are Early Head Start & Head Start teachers required to have?

Early Head Start teachers are required to have a infant/toddler CDA. Head Start teachers are required to have a bachelors degree in early childhood development. Teacher assistants are required to have a Pre-School CDA.

Basic Rules of the Center:

As licensed daycare facilities our centers meet all local, state & federal guidelines.

A few of the rules are:

1. One adult must be present for every ten children at all times in preschool classrooms and one adult for every four children in Early Head Start classrooms.

2. All children’s files are to be kept in a locked cabinet.

3. A fire drill is conducted each month.

4. Approved fire extinguishers must be available.

5. NO ONE (parents, staff or volunteers) may spank, shake, hit or yell at any child in the center.

6. No smoking is allowed in or around Head Start centers or Head Start children.

7. All children have a rest time. They do not have to go to sleep, but they must rest.

8. Check with your child’s teacher to find out other specific rules of the classroom.

If I see or hear something I do not understand at the center, or if I have concerns about the center, what should I do?

First, talk to the teaching staff immediately. Do not hesitate to ask questions or ask for explanations. Talk directly to the Teacher, write a note to them or schedule a meeting with them to discuss the problem. Staff members are your contact persons, not other parents. If you, the center staff, and the Family Resource Specialist are unable to resolve the problem, contact the Child Development Services Coordinator, Cindy Raymond (Refer to Complaint Procedure).

Scott County Public School Head Start Complaint Procedure (Parents & Community)

This Complaint Procedure is to be followed in the event that Scott County Head Start staff have been unable to answer a question or resolve a conflict satisfactorily at the classroom level.

A complaint shall be initiated within ten (10) days following the event giving rise to the complaint.

The following steps shall be taken:

Step 1: Within 10 days of the event, and with written knowledge of  the Head Start Director, a meeting shall be set up between the parent or community person who has a concern and the person immediately responsible. A written report of the results of the meeting shall be forwarded to the Head Start Director by the concerned party.

Step 2: If the concern cannot be resolved by Step #1, then, within 10 days of the first meeting, the parent or community person shall meet with the Head Start Director and involved parties with Policy Council written knowledge. A written report of the results shall be forwarded to the Policy council Chairperson by the Head Start Director.

Step 3: If the concern is not resolved in the meeting in Step #2, a final decision will be made by a quorum of the Policy Council.


Confidentiality in Head Start is very important. All records are kept in locked cabinets and are accessible only to staff on a need to know basis. Volunteers in the center are asked to never discuss sensitive issues with others. The staff will contact parents when needs arise. Speak openly with the staff if you have concerns in this area, but please keep confidentiality.