Who is Eligible?
Children are eligible for ECEAP and Head Start based on their age and family income. Up to 10 percent of ECEAP and Head Start children can be from families above the income limit if they have:
- Developmental factors such as developmental delay, disability, or other special needs.
- Environmental factors such as homelessness, family violence, chemical dependency, foster care, or incarcerated parents.
After eligibility is determined, children are prioritized for enrollment as space is available in their communities. While ECEAP and Head Start have similar eligibility criteria, there are some differences:
ECEAP children must be 3 years old but not yet 5 years old on August of the school year, and:
- On Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for special education or
- From families at or below 110 percent of the federal poverty level, which includes all children in foster care and all families with Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash grants. Some children may be accepted who are over the income limit, if they have developmental or environmental factors.
Head Start children must be 3 to 5 years old for preschool Head Start; pregnant or 0 to 3 years old for Early Head Start, and:
- From families at or below 130 percent of the federal poverty level, with priority to those at or below 100 percent or
- Homeless, in foster care, or from families with Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash grant.
- Some children may be accepted who are over the income limit if they have developmental or environmental factors.