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Eligibility is based on the following criteria: 

  • Your child will be 3 or 4 years old by August 31st of the year you plan to enroll in Head Start.

  • Your income falls below the Income Guidelines set by the US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families? A Family Advocate can help you determine this. At least 90% of the children enrolled must be from Income Eligible families.

  • Does your child have a diagnosed disability? At least 10% of the total number of children enrolled must have a diagnosed disability.

  • Eligibility will be determined by a needs assessment using screening criteria established by RCS Head Start and availability of classroom space.

If you are eligible for RCS Head Start, but there are no slots available in the program, you will be placed on a waiting list and notified of vacancies as they arise. 


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Frequently asked questions

How do I know if my family meets the low-income guidelines for enrollment?

Please visit the Department of Health and Human Services webiste at

What are the qualifications of the teachers at Head Start?

No less than fifty percent of all Head Start lead teachers, nationwide, have a baccalaureate degree in child development, early childhood education, or equivalent coursework. All lead teachers have at least an associate's or bachelor's degree in child development or early childhood education, equivalent coursework, or otherwise meet the requirements. Head Start assistant teachers, at a minimum, have a CDA credential or a state-awarded certificate that meets or exceeds the requirements for a CDA credential, are enrolled in a program that will lead to an associate or baccalaureate degree or, are enrolled in a CDA credential program to be completed within two years of the time of hire.

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. For information about volunteering please contact your local Head Start center.

What If My Income Level Is Higher Than the Poverty Guidelines?

Head Start programs may enroll up to 10% of children from families that have incomes above the Poverty Guidelines. Programs may also serve up to an additional 35% of children from families whose incomes are above the Poverty Guidelines, but below 130% of the poverty line if the program can ensure that certain conditions described in the section 645 (a)(1)(B)(iii)(II) of the Head Start Act have been met.