What is Head Start?
A comprehensive early childhood program for preschool children, infants and toddlers and their families.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR HEAD START?
Low-income families with children under Kindergarten age (birth to five). Also eligible are foster children, families who are homeless and families receiving SSI, TANF, or SNAP.
WHAT ARE THE INCOME GUIDELINES?
Visit ASPE Poverty Guidelines
WHAT AGES DO YOU SERVE?
Head Start can serve children ages 8 weeks through 5 years. A child’s 5th birthday must be after August 15th of the current school year.
HOW DO I ENROLL MY CHILD?
To begin the enrollment process, a parent or legal guardian can either click on the red “APPLY HERE” button on the home page of our website or go to the “How to Apply” tab on our website and click on the red “APPLY HERE” button. In order for the application to be considered complete, we will need a copy of the child’s up to date shot record on the Tennessee state form and an up to date physical, along with proof of all income for a year.
WHAT DO I NEED TO HAVE TO COMPLETE THE APPLICATION?
The following documents are needed to complete the child’s enrollment application:
- Shot Record
- Physical Exam
- If guardian, copy of custody papers
- If foster child, copy of foster care contract
- If a parent has restricted visitation, copy of court papers
- Documentation of all types of income received by all related adults in the home 12 months before the application date. (Examples: Wages, TANF, Social Security, SSI, Retirement, VA benefits, Support Payments, College Payments, etc.)
WHAT ARE THE PROGRAM OPTIONS AVAILABLE AT HEAD START?
Head Start (Preschool Ages 3-5)
Part-Day – Children attend the center for 4 hours in either the morning or afternoon, 4 days a week. Hours of service are typically 7:45-11:45 a.m. or 12:15 -4:15 p.m. Transportation is provided.
Extended Day – This option is provided at the Anderson-South, Kiwanis East II, and North Ridge Crossing Head Start Centers. Transportation is not provided for the Extended Day option. Children will attend approximately 7 1/4 hours/day, four days a week.
Early Head Start (Under 3 years of Age)
Note: All early children attending center-based programs will be enrolled in the extended-day option.
Home-Based– A home visitor conducts a weekly in-person visit with the parent/guardian and child in the family’s home and provides information and guidance to the parent to support the child’s learning.
Extended Day – This option is provided at the Anderson-South, Kiwanis East II, and North Ridge Crossing Head Start Centers and is available for children under 3 years of age. Transportation is not provided for children enrolled in the Early Head Start Extended Day option. Children will attend approximately 7 1/4 hours/day, four days a week.
I did the Online Interest last week, and I haven’t heard anything, what happens next?
If you have not heard anything after 2 weeks of submitting an on-line interest form, please call the Head Start office @ 865-522-2193 and ask to speak with an Enrollment Specialist.
DOES MY CHILD HAVE TO BE POTTY TRAINED?
No! Our teachers will be happy to work with you to help your child become potty trained when he/she is ready. Head Start will work with you to provide diapers or pull-ups for your child during Head Start hours.
ARE THERE CHILD RESTRAINT SEATS ON YOUR BUSES?
Yes. All children that ride on a Head Start bus are required to sit in a child restraint seat that Head Start provides. In addition, we have cameras on all of our buses.
I DON'T WORK. DO YOU STILL NEED MY INCOME?
Yes. As a federally funded program, we are required to verify income. We can verify all of the previous calendar years or back one year from the day you sign the application.
CAN MY CHILD START TOMORROW?
Unfortunately “NO”. The application process is lengthy and will take some time to complete. If you child is eligible, an enrollment specialist will work with you to get the required documents completed. This process can take a couple of weeks. If your child is selected for enrollment, you will be contacted by a Family Specialist from the center where your child will be enrolled. Otherwise, your child will be placed on a waiting list.
MY MOM LIVES WITH ME. DO YOU NEED HER INCOME?
We are required to verify income on any blood relative that lives in the home IF they are claimed by you on your income tax return.