Age and Income Requirements


Head Start:

A child must have reached his or her third birthday by July 31st of the current year. Children will be considered age-eligible upon reaching their third birthday, even if the birthday occurs after July 31st. Such children, however, are not automatically enrolled in the Head Start Program. Families must follow the enrollment and application procedures. An exception to this age requirement will be made for those children who are enrolled in Early Head Start or have a diagnosed disability or special need.

Early Head Start:

A child is eligible for Early Head Start from six weeks until thirty-six months of age. If an enrollment application is not made prior to 24 months, the next enrollment opportunity will be upon reaching three years of age for Head Start. A pregnant woman is eligible for Early Head Start regardless of age and her child remains eligible until thirty-six months of age.


A low-income family is defined as a family whose income before taxes is below the Federal Poverty Guidelines or who is receiving Public Assistance even if the family’s income exceeds the poverty guidelines.

Public Assistance: TANF (Cash Payments and Case Management) Case Management includes State Childcare Assistance or Food Stamps, and SSI programs. The YWCA Head Start / Early Head Start program may fill up to 10% of enrollment slots with children that exceed the Federal Poverty Guidelines. However, a family’s income cannot exceed 185% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

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