Who is Eligible?


Children are accepted into ECEAP and Head Start based on their age, family income, or other reasons they would benefit from education, family support and health services. Please contact your local ECEAP or Head Start program to find out if your child is eligible to enroll.

Age: ECEAP and Head Start preschool programs prioritize children who are 4 years old by August 31, and accept children who are 3 years old by August 31 when space is available. In some communities, Early Head Start is available for pregnant mothers and children birth to age 3.


Up to 10 percent of ECEAP and Head Start children can be from families who are above the income limits. They are accepted into the program because of:

  • Developmental factors, such as developmental delay, disability, or other special needs
  • Environmental factors, such as family violence, chemical dependency, child protective services involvement or incarcerated parents

Other: Children are eligible for ECEAP or Head Start, when space is available, if they are:

  • In foster care or involved with the child welfare system.
  • Homeless.
  • Have a Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash grant.