The Pennsylvania Head Start program in the state of Pennsylvania is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and is run by the Office of Early Childhood and Learning. The aim of the program is to improve the children’s cognitive, emotional and social skills belonging to low-income households.
The Pennsylvania Head Start helps enhance the readiness of the children from poor households who are five years of age or younger. The program also helps to create a healthy parent-children relationship in the family by emphasizing the role of parents in the life of the children.
The program aims at providing a healthy learning environment to children from underprivileged backgrounds to help them grow in the language, social, literacy and emotional areas. There other components of the Pennsylvania Head Start program are,
- Early Head Start for children between the age of 3 to 5 years
- Migrant/Seasonal Head Start for children of migrants and farm workers up till the age of five years
There is a possibility of enrolling 10% of children who belong to families with an income level about the Federal Poverty Guidelines. It is also possible that the Head Start program selects 35% of children belonging to a household with an income level above the FDL guidelines for the program but below 130% of the poverty income level. But the program needs to make sure that the eligibility criteria of the applicants are being met before serving.
The eligibility conditions for the Head Start program in the state of Pennsylvania include,
- The candidate must be a permanent citizen or a legal alien of the U.S
- The candidate must be a resident of the state of Pennsylvania
- Children belonging to homeless families are eligible to apply for the Pennsylvania Head Start program
- Children who are five years old or younger are eligible to apply for the Head Start program
- Children belonging to homeless families are eligible to apply for the Head Start program
- Children living with foster families can also apply for the program
- The candidate’s household income must fall under the eligibility condition determined by the Federal Poverty Level.
- Households that are receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or Supplementary Security Income (SSI) can also apply for the Head Start program and its other services in the state of Pennsylvania
- Women who are pregnant or families with children between 3-5 years of age can apply for the Early Head Start program in the state.
- Migrant families with children who are 5 years old can apply for the Migrant Head Start services
- Farmworkers with kids up to five years of age can apply for the Seasonal Head Start program
It is advisable to apply for the program before the deadline in order to make sure your child is not deprived of the program’s benefits.
The number of members in a household and total household income is also very important factors while considering a candidate for the Head Start program in the state of Pennsylvania. The amount of the maximum gross income level before taxes must equate,
|Total Size Of Household||Total Annual Income Level|
In case, the household size is greater than 8 members an additional amount of $4420 is considered per member. The amount of annual income level might change from time to time. Therefore, it is a good step to contact the managing agency in your area. They will be able to provide you with the most recent and up-to-date guidelines about the Pennsylvania Head Start program.
The application should contact their local Head Start program to get to know the requirements for the program in the community. There are chances that you might not get the program benefits even if you fulfill all the eligibility criteria, which happens due to limited funding from the government. In such a case, you should go to the program office and make sure your family name is on the waiting list of the Pennsylvania Head Start.
The program criteria vary from state to state hence it is important to check with your local Head Start office to get the most accurate information.
You can also check the pre-screening tool on the official Pennsylvania Head Start website to check the eligibility criteria of the program. The applicant will have to provide information like,
- Citizenship and Immigration status
- Rent or mortgage
- Utility expenses
- Child support expenses
- Day-care expenses
How to Apply
Contact local office
Once you check the requirement for the Pennsylvania Head Start program for the next step is to apply for the program. To receive the program’s benefits you will have to contact the local Head Start representative in your community. They will guide you about the program’s requirements and will take you through the whole paperwork of the Head Start program in the state.
Contact via telephone
In case you have other queries regarding the program and its services please call the Head Start office at 1-866-763-6481 to find a county representative in your locality. The representative will guide you about the program’s policies and guidelines to give you a better understanding of the Head Start in the state of Pennsylvania.
For Further Information
You can also visit the official Pennsylvania Head Start website. The page provides you with up-to-date information regarding the Head Start program and all the other services the program provides, to make the application process less daunting. Here the applicant can go to the Head Start Locator to find an office in their locality.
The Office of Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge department is responsible for running the Head Start program in different States. It makes sure that all the applications are accessed properly. The agency makes sure to determine the eligibility of the candidates as soon as possible and within a few days of the submission of the application form. The qualified families are approached about their qualifications once they are selected.