What Is Head Start?
Head Start and Early Head Start are preschool programs for children from birth to age five living in low-income families. The programs assist children in becoming physically, socially, intellectually and emotionally adjusted. They also receive health and dental care, healthy meals, and indoor and outdoor play in a safe setting. Additional services are offered to meet the special needs of children with disabilities. Head Start and Early Head Start classrooms are placed in various locations throughout the county and meet the licensing requirements as set forth by the Florida Department of Children and Families.
Currently, the Early Head Start program serves both pregnant mothers and children from birth to age three, and the Head Start Program provides opportunities for 855 children ages three to five and their families.
Parent involvement and social services are provided with the assistance of a Family Advocate, and each family completes a self assessment and establishes a written goal plan which is monitored throughout the program year.
Providing Children a Head Start. Giving Their Families a Fresh Beginning.
To be eligible for Head Start, families must qualify according to income guidelines (issued by the Department of Health and Human Services) or have a child with a diagnosed disability. These children are provided special services that address their individual needs.
Application + Enrollment Info
To enroll in Head Start or Early Head Start, bring the following information to register:
- Completed Application
- Child’s Birth Certificate (The Child must be 3 or 4 years old on or before September 1st.)
- Child’s Social Security Card
- Child’s Health Insurance Card
- Documentation of Residency
- Documentation of Family Income (2 most recent Paycheck Stubs)
- Documentation of Public Assistance (SSI, TANF, Housing, Food Stamps, Medicaid)
- Disability Documentation (Recommended but NOT required)
To make an appointment to complete an application, please call 844-356-8137
Pregnant Mom Program Application
Early Head Start’s continuous support and services provide pregnant moms with:
- healthy pregnancies and positive childbirth outcomes
- supportive postpartum care for the parents and children
- positive opportunities for involving fathers in the lives of their very young children
- nurturing and responsive care during infancy and toddlerhood
To apply for CAPC’s Pregnant Mom Program, download and fill out the following form:
Father's Paternal Rights
Fathers, if you were not married to your child’s mother, you need to have your paternal rights established. Click here for more information.
Head Start Staff Qualifications
Head Start Teachers:
By October 1, 2011, each Head Start classroom in center-based programs must have a teacher who has at least one of the following:
- An associate, baccalaureate or advanced degree in early childhood education
- An associate degree in a field related to early childhood education and coursework equivalent to major relating to early childhood education, with experience teaching preschool-age children
- A baccalaureate or advanced degree in any field and coursework equivalent to a major relating to early childhood education, with experience teaching preschool-age children
- A baccalaureate degree in any field and has been admitted into the Teach For America program; passed a rigorous early childhood content exam, such as the Praxis II; participated in a Teach For America summer training institute that includes teaching preschool children and is receiving ongoing professional development and support from Teach For America’s professional staff.
Teacher’s Aides and Substitutes:
By September 30, 2013, all teaching assistants in center-based programs must have one of the following:
- Have a Child Development Associate (CDA) credential
- Be enrolled in a CDA credential program that will be completed within 2 years
- Have an associate or baccalaureate degree (in any area) or be enrolled in a program leading to such a degree
Bus Drivers and Support Staff:
All Head Start bus drivers must have the following:
- Commercial Drivers License (CDL)
- Clean driving record through Motor Vehicle Reports (MVR)
- Air brake and school bus endorsement