New Castle County Head Start, Inc. is a federally funded program designed to serve pregnant women and children ages birth to 5 years from income eligible families including children with disabilities. The Head Start program allocates a majority of the program's slots to families whose incomes fall at or below the federal poverty guidelines. Head Start is permitted to serve a small percentage of families whose incomes exceed the guidelines.
- age of the child
- family income level
- categorical eligibility such as foster care status or homelessness.
The Early Head Start home-based program serves pregnant women and children ages birth to 3 years. Enrollment is available year round if:
- the pregnant mother intends to enroll her child (the pregnant mother is counted as 2 for the purposes of determining eligibility) and
- the child is under 3 years of age.
The Head Start program serves children ages 3 to 5 years. Enrollment for both the part day and full day programs is available year round.
Parents who wish to enroll their child in the Head Start program should complete the online application. Parents should be ready to provide the following documentation:
- Proof of family income for one month, e.g., pay stub or W2 tax return
- Proof of the child's age, e.g., birth certificate
- Proof of enrollment in a Public Assistance program, e.g., Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) or Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI).
- Foster care documentation
- Medical insurance card
- Documentation of dental exam and child health appraisal or physical including tuberculosis, lead, hemoglobin, hearing, height and weight.
Once the application is complete, all families are assigned a weighted scale number depending on the demand factors or need associated with their family. Additional points are given to children with a documented disability. Those families with the highest weighted scale number, i.e., those families with the greatest need, will be given enrollment priority. The program is continually accepting applications and assigning families to the wait list. Once an enrollment slot becomes available, the family with the highest weighted scale number will be offered the program opening. This process ensures that New Castle County Head Start, Inc. is always providing services to those families with the greatest need.
All families who accepted will be sent a letter stating whether they have met the enrollment qualifications. Included with that letter may be a list of additional documentation that the program will need upon, or shortly after, enrollment including, child health appraisal, e.g., physical, dental records and immunization records. The New Castle County Head Start, Inc. program is required to obtain this information for all enrolled children in the program. Head Start staff will assist parents to ensure that all the required information is obtained.