Head Start and Early Head Start are child development programs for low-income families. Each child is screened using an Eligibility Selection Criteria form to determine placement in the program. Eligibility selection is based on a point system. Children are placed according to the points received. Points are based on age, income, parental status, family situation, special needs and other factors.

Head Start serves preschool children, ages 3 and 4 years old. To be eligible for Head Start services, a child must be three years old on or before October 1.

Early Head Start serves infants and toddlers. To be eligible for Early Head Start services a child must be birth to three years old.


To apply or to determine eligibility, you will need to contact the Head Start/Early Head Start program directly.Family income is one key factor in determining eligibility. The federal poverty guidelines are used to evaluate family income. To learn more about these guidelines, please click here.

Click here for a list of Head Start locations

The child must be age eligible and meet at least one of the following criteria in order to be eligible for either program:

  • Family income must be at or below the federal poverty guideline, or
  • Family is receiving public assistance (TANF or SSI), or
  • Family is homeless, or
  • The child is in foster care, or
  • The child has a diagnosed disability.

There is no charge for the Early Head Start or Head Start services. Both services are provided in a classroom setting.

If you need help determining if your child is eligible, please call the main office at 859/623-7233.


To start the enrollment process, call the main office at 859/623-7233 or the Head Start or Early Head Start location nearest you and schedule an appointment. During the appointment, a staff member will help you fill out the necessary paperwork.

The following items are required when the application is taken:

  • Proof of income. Verification may include examination of any of the following: tax forms, W-2 forms, pay stubs, pay envelopes, written statements from employers, documentation showing current status as recipients of public assistance, or declaration of zero income.
  • Proof of birth date for each child to be enrolled. Click here to obtain birth certificates online.


Based on the information you give us and eligibility guidelines, we will let you know if you are eligible.

Children are selected for the upcoming school year during the spring. Applications are accepted year-round from families who meet the eligibility criteria. If classes are full, we will add your child’s name to a waiting list.

We prioritize children based on age, income, disabilities and other risk factors that show a high need for services.

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