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Iowa Head Start

What You Need To Know

To ensure school readiness of children from birth to age 5, Iowa Head Start has been set up. It is a federal program that provides low-income families through school readiness. It helps contribute to their social, emotional and cognitive development. A learning environment is set up to support this growth. Head Start considers the most important teacher to be the parents. Therefore, this role is emphasized in the program. It is aimed at building relationships with families. This helps to keep the well-being as well as other important aspects in check. Iowa Head Start has been administered by ACF (Administration for Children and Families).

There are also Early Head Start programs provided at times that are focused on infants, toddlers, and pregnant women. The families of these infants and women must have incomes that are below the federal poverty level. This locally operated program is present in 98 of the 99 Iowa counties and is operated by eighteen programs. The services involved in this comprehensive program include the following benefits:

  • Early Childhood Education
  • Family and Community Partnerships
  • Health – that involves oral and mental health services as well
  • Services for Children with Disabilities

These services can help Head Start to achieve its objective of playing a major role in improving education in America. It hopes to eliminate the adverse effects of poverty that future generations may face. Therefore, their program wishes to tackle the financial and familial struggles involved in the education of children.

Are You Eligible?

Low-income families that have children till the age of five present in their households are eligible. Their incomes are compared with the Federal poverty guidelines. A requirement of these families is in regard to the annual household income. Their earning is considered before the tax deduction and should, therefore, be less than or equal to the following:

Household Size Maximum Income Level ($)
1 12,490
2 16,910
3 21,330
4 25,750
5 30,170
6 34,590
7 39,010
8 43,430

In case there are more than eight residents present in a household, an additional $4,420 is added per person. It is vital to keep in touch with the managing agency in your area. It will keep you informed about the most recent and accurate guidelines to be followed.

At some points, children are also considered for Head Start regardless of their income. This is for those children who:

  • Are in foster care
  • Homeless
  • Are from families that have assistance like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or Supplemental Security Income.

There is also a specific enrollment percentage considered for children of families with income that is above the poverty guidelines. This is an approximate 10%. Moreover, Head Start programs also consider the enrollment of children from families who fall in the middle area. 35% of the children that are catered to belong to families with incomes that are above the poverty guidelines, but below 130% of the poverty line. There are certain conditions involved that must be met concerning this.

Early Head Start also caters to pregnant women. Therefore, the community Head Start must be approached on time. They can find the necessary requirements for enrollment and follow them without any hurdles. The limited government funding means that there are limited seats available. To avoid such an occurrence, one must be vigilant. Even if the family is unable to enroll their child at that exact time, they can consider the waiting list.

There are many programs present to cater to the needs of such families. This means that a good step for these families would be to contact the program in their community. This way they will be able to gain accurate information and guidance they require.

How To Apply


The Head Start present in your community can be found through the Head Start Locator tools available online. It will allow you to get in contact with the local program which can answer any queries you have. Approaching them will also prove helpful in terms of document collections as the appropriate ones will be highlighted.

For Further Information

In instances where you wish to gain more information regarding the Iowa Head Start, you can call the toll-free number:


You can also simply visit the community Head Start through the help of the Head Start Locator.  Their website Iowa Head Start has other appropriate information that families may require. It not only has a resources tab but also a training calendar. These factors help to cater to families whose children are already enrolled as well as those who wish to be.



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