Skip links


Welcome and thank you for your interest in our program!

Kindly refer to the information below to assess whether you and your child satisfy the eligibility criteria for the Head Start Program.

Does my family qualify for the Head Start program?

To be eligible for head start/early head start, an applicant must be determined age and income or categorically eligible

as per the following:

Age Eligibility

  • Early Head Start (EHS) Pregnant Women or children 0-36 months.
  • Head Start (HS) Child must be 3-5 years old and not yet age-eligible for Kindergarten.

Income Eligibility

  • To qualify based on income, a family’s gross annual income must be at or below the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
  • Other considerations are given to over-income families depending on their individual circumstances, including children with disabilities who have a current Individualized Family Services Plan (IFSP) or Individualized Education Plan (IEP).

Categorical Eligibility

A family is eligible in any of the following categories, regardless of total gross income:

  • Applicant is in Foster Care
  • Family is receiving Cash Aid benefits through the CalWORKs program (TANF)
  • Family is receiving CalFresh (SNAP)
  • Applicant or family member living with and supported by the child’s Parent(s) or Guardian(s) is receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Family is experiencing homelessness

Apply online NOW in English or Spanish.

 If you already applied or have previously had a child participate in a Child Start program, please DO NOT fill out this online application form. Instead, you may download a fillable/printable  Application PDF  by clicking on the link or contact us at 1-866-573-4274 for further assistance. Hard copy applications can be submitted to  or in-person to any center during normal operating days/hours.

 To Download the fillable application form click the icon.  

What documents will you need?

To expedite the process, please send in the following with your application:

  • Birth Date Documentation (Birth Certificate, Passport, Hospital Letter, Social Services Letter, Government document such as Visa, Residence Card, Refugee, etc.)
  • Proof of income (copy of your current 1040 tax return, or W2’s)
  • Supplemental Security Income Statement
  • Foster Care Statement
  • TANF/CalWorks or SNAP/CalFresh Notice

    IMPORTANT: If it is a 2 parent/guardian household, we will need income from both parents/guardian

After an application has been submitted:

Applicants will receive an e-mail confirmation from ChildPlus upon the submission of an online application. Applicants who apply using a hard copy application should expect to receive an application receipt in the mail within 7 business days of submission in person or by e-mailing it to  We will keep your confidential application on file until your child is no longer age-eligible for services (we serve children 0-5).  This is the first step in the application process and does not guarantee acceptance. Please note, that priority is given to applicants who are categorically eligible and families who meet the federal poverty guidelines.