Head Start: early childhood education for free
Head Start is a program that offers underprivileged children anywhere in the country health, education, and more. Find out how you can guarantee all this for your children without having to pay anything!
by José Gonçalo
Head Start: a program that ensures your children attend school and develop intelligence and skills
Indeed, the period from 0 to 5 years is one of the most important for the intellectual development of children. With that in mind, the federal government offers Head Start.
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This is a program that ensures that underprivileged children have the means to develop their skills to the fullest in their early years.
So, find out how you can count on this program and guarantee a bright future for your children:
What is Head Start, and what services does it offer children and families?
Head Start is a federal program administered by the US Department of Health and Human Services.
This program exists to support families with children aged 0-5 by providing education, health, and social services.
This program gives children free access to preschools, daycare centers, educational centers, or home care to develop their intelligence and social skills.
This is a way of preparing children for the challenges they will face at school and in society.
For this, in addition to learning math, language, and science concepts, children develop social skills to interact with adults and other children.
Also, children receive medical and dental care and nutritious meals.
In addition to all this support, children also need a healthy and stable environment at home for mental and emotional development.
Thus, this program also counts on the participation of the child’s parents or guardians in the educational process.
In addition, families can count on programs that facilitate access to housing and employment, for example. Today the program is divided into four main lines of action. Meet them below:
- Head Start, which serves children aged between 3 and to 5 years;
- Early Head Start Programs (EHS), for children aged 0 to 3 years;
- American Indians and Alaska Natives (AIAN Head Start Programs), for children from Native American communities;
- Head Start Seasonal and Migrant Programs (MSHS) for children from farming families.
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What are the benefits of enrolling your child in Head Start?
By enrolling your children in this program, you can be sure you provide them with basic conditions to develop intelligence and social skills.
In addition to a good education, your child can count on medical, psychological, dental, and nutritional support.
It has already been verified that these are basic conditions for a child to develop his intelligence fully.
Thus, when children do not have access to these conditions, it is likely that they will not reach their full intellectual potential.
This can have long-term impacts, limiting the ability to make good choices or get good jobs. So Head Start can increase your child’s chances of making good choices in adulthood.
Also, your child will be more likely to get into a good college or apply for good jobs. For many families, Head Start was the only way to end the cycle of poverty that had lasted many generations.
In fact, that’s the main reason you should count on this program: more opportunities for your child.
Who is eligible to enroll in Head Start?
Indeed, this program is formatted to meet a specific profile of the population. Below, we’ve created a list of all the audiences that can count on this one. Check below:
- Children up to 5 years old from families with income equal to or less than 100% of the poverty line defined by the federal government;
- Children in foster care, homeless, or from families that already receive federal assistance (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or Supplementary Pension Income);
- Pregnant women.
In fact, these are the basic guidelines for participating in Head Start. In some states, these rules may vary. Therefore, it is important that you review the eligibility criteria in your region.
For example, in some states, it is possible to participate in this program with an income of up to 130% of the federal poverty line.
How do you apply for Head Start?
In fact, the application process for this program may follow different guidelines depending on your region. So, you should look for information to know how this works in the place where you live.
The best way to do this is to contact organizations participating in this project near you. If you don’t know them, look for the “Head Start Center Locator” map on the official Head Start page.
After a quick search for the zip code where you live, you will find several centers participating in this program near you.
Then, simply contact those organizations for information about applying to this program. You can do this by calling, emailing, visiting these organizations’ websites, or even making a personal visit.
Find other government programs to help your family: Medicaid
Low-income American families can also receive a special service for cheap, quality medical care. This is possible through Medicaid, a federal program that operates in all states.
Access the following post to learn more about this program and its readability criteria!
Medicaid: check out if you eligible to apply for the program
Learn everything you need to know about Medicaid in this comprehensive guide, including what it is, who can qualify, and how to apply.
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