How does it work?
Early Head Start focuses on the needs of pregnant women, infants, and toddlers.
EHS funds many flexible child care options, including programs at child care centers, in private homes or a combination of home and center-based services. EHS also offers weekly educational supports in your home as an option for you to continue to support your child’s development outside of the classroom.
In addition to providing education services, EHS programs support the mental, social, and emotional development of your child by providing information on health, nutrition, and other services. Healthy snacks and meals are served throughout the day.
Programs are available until your child turns 3 years old. Once your child turns 3, you may apply for Head Start funding or PHLpreK.
Am I Eligible?
You are likely eligible for Early Head Start if:
- Your child is younger than 3 years old. Your child may be older than 3 years old if they are in the process of transitioning into Head Start.
- You meet income guidelines: Your child’s eligibility to receive EHS funding is based on your family’s size and income. To be eligible to receive EHS funding, your total annual family income must be 100% or less than the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Look below to see whether you’re likely to quality for EHS funding based on the number of people in your family and how much you make:
Maximum Yearly Family Income (2018)
Families experiencing homelessness or children who are in foster care are automatically eligible to receive Early Head Start funding.
Families who receive SSI or TANF are also automatically eligible.
How to Apply
To see if your family is eligible for EHS, you will need to contact an EHS program directly.
Find an EHS program in your area by:
- Visiting our quality child care map here
- Using the Head Start Locator here (and below)
- Calling 1-866-763-6481 (toll-free)
Once you have identified a local program, contact them directly for more information. They will provide you with the required forms and can answer questions about their specific program.