With the aim of providing diverse opportunities for young children from disadvantaged backgrounds, the Head Start program has spread throughout the United States.
This is a federal program that aims to develop essential skills in children, and provide them with opportunities such as connecting with their local communities.
"Head Start encourages school readiness for children from low-income families by supporting them from birth to age five.
The idea is to enhance their cognitive and emotional development by providing them with a learning environment with diverse functionalities. In this way, it favors their growth in areas such as language, literacy and emotional development.
How can they participate in the program?
Up to the age of five, children from families with incomes below the U.S. poverty line are eligible for Head Start.
Head Start services are also available to children in foster care and children from families without a home. It is also accessible to children from families receiving public assistance such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). This would be regardless of the income of those families.
But, this program is closed to eligibility limits, and can enroll children from families with annual incomes above the poverty thresholds.
Although, in order to be eligible for assistance, they must have an annual family income (before taxes) below the established parameters.
The income limits can increase progressively, depending on the household and the number of people in it.
It can range from a one-person household, with a maximum income level of $14,580.00 USD per year, to a household of eight persons. The latter will be eligible for the plan up to an income level of $50,000.00 USD.
To apply for Head Start, you can use the Head Start Locator tool, which is available on the Federal Government's website.
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