Enrollment and Eligibility

To complete an application for Head Start services, please contact the Enrollment Department at 1-800-701-7060.

About our program

Through our Early Head Start and Head Start Programs, we provide guidance for educational, developmental, and nutritional support to recognize and empower parents as the leaders.

The Early Head Start program serves pregnant women, infants, toddlers, and children up to 36 months of age, and their families. The Head Start program serves three to four-year-old children and their families; each child’s age eligibility is calculated according to the September 2nd  Kindergarten age eligibility date.

Documentation of the following are used to determine eligibility for Early Head Start and Head Start:

  • The child’s age or woman’s pregnancy, Kern County residence, family size and income must be verified
  • No less than 90 percent of enrolled children must be income eligible based upon Federal guidelines, receiving public assistance, foster placement, or homeless (see the income guidelines chart below)
  • No less than 10 percent of enrolled children must have a diagnosed disability. This must be verified by an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) or Individualized Education Program (IEP)

Documentation Needed to Apply for Services

  • Birth Certificate or official proof of pregnancy *
  • Current utility bill as evidence of Kern County residency
  • 12 months of income for all adults living in the home
  • Current evidence of public assistance (Passport to Services from DHS office) *
  • Custody papers, other court documents*
  • Referrals (medical, social, etc.) *

*If applicable

Placement Priorities

  • Homeless children
  • Foster children
  • Income eligible/Recipients of Public Assistance

Regardless of income, any family may complete an application and be placed on the wait list.

When applying for Full Day/Full Year services there may be additional requirements that must be met in order to determine eligibility under applicable program and funding regulations.

Head Start Income Eligibility Chart

2017 HHS Poverty Guidelines

Persons in family Poverty Guideline
1 $12,060
2 16,240
3 20,420
4 24,600
5 28,780
6 32,960
7 37,140
8 41,320

For each additional person, add $4,180