Who does Head Start serve?
The Head Start program is available to children aged 0 to 5 (pre-Kindergarten age and not turning 5 before August 1st) and pregnant women.
Is my family eligible for Head Start?
If your family income is at or below the federal poverty level, the applicant will be considered income eligible. If a family is fostering a child or providing kinship services through Ashtabula County Children Services Board for the applicant, they are eligible for services. If a family is experiencing homelessness or receiving TANF (Ohio Works First Cash Assistance) or SSI (Supplemental Security Income) benefits, the applicant is eligible for services. Determining eligibility is the first part of the enrollment process.
How do I apply?
An application can be completed online. If the online option is chosen, once submitted, the applicant will be contacted within three to five business days. For those families that do not wish to fill out an online application, a paper application can be completed by calling 440-993-7716 to directly speak with an enrollment specialist.
What happens after I apply?
After you have applied, an application interview (AI) is scheduled. This is typically completed during a phone call, video conference call or in-person with an ERSEA specialist. During the application interview, you will be asked questions regarding family information and applicant information. You will also be asked to provide the documentation that is needed to verify the applicant’s eligibility for the program. This documentation primarily includes income documentation (12 months), proof of OWF/SSI benefits, proof of Foster/Kinship placement, or homeless status. We will also request documentation for proof of birth, such as hospital documentation or birth certificate. We request documentation of applicant’s health coverage and custody/court papers are required if applicable.
Once the application interview and eligibility verification are complete, the completed application will go through the selection process which prioritizes the applicant for services. The ERSEA Manager will contact you with the status of the applicant’s services based on their priority and openings in the program.
If there are openings after enrolling income and criteria eligible families, families considered to be above the federal poverty level may also be eligible for services. You will be asked to explain your family’s unique circumstances or challenges.