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Head Start and Early Head Start

Head Start
Head Start is a child development program for children ages three through five from low-income families. This program is funded by the Health and Human Services Bureau (HHS/ACYF/Head Start Bureau) and the Missouri Department of Health. In addition, the community provides a 20% in-kind match for the federal funds provided by the HHS/ACYF/Head Start Bureau.

Families must meet income guidelines established by the funding source to paritcipate in this program. There is no cost to the participant for these services.

Pre-school education, health care, and nutrition education are provided to the enrolled children at the centers (C) and/or in the Home Based (HB) participant’s residence located in Jefferson and Franklin Counties. Home Based children also have socialization at a Home Based location twice each month. Children are provided meals and or snacks at the Center and Home Based locations. All children receive developmental screenings and individual learning experiences are planned for each child.

Early Head Start
Early Head Start provides services for Pregnant Women, Infants and Toddlers. All of the services listed above are provided to the Early Head Start clients. The mission of Early Head Start is to promote healthy prenatal outcomes for pregnant women, to enhance the development of very young children and to promote healthy family functioning. Center based care is offered at our Hematite and Gray Summit Missouri locations.

Eligibility for center locations is based upon age and income. Toddlers must be 18 months or older and they will graduate at age 3 to the regular Head Start program.

Home Based services are offered to age and income eligible infants and toddlers. Services are offered to Pregnant Women in anticipation of their child moving into the Home Based program upon delivery. A limited number of infant care slots, 9 weeks to 18 months, are also available based upon strict age, income and need criteria.

Parents are involved in program planning, volunteer work and administrative decisions through Policy Council and Center Committees. We welcome any community volunteers for the program and donations of goods or services. These will be used to meet the 20% in-kind match required by HHS/ACYF/Head Start Bureau.

Please note that all (HB) sites are only in session 2 days per month. If you do not receive an answer, call the Administrative Office listed on the Contact Us! page.

If you are interested in applying for the Head Start or Early Head Start program you will need the following information to complete a full application:

  • Child’s birth Certificate
  • Child’s Medicaid/insurance number
  • Child’s immunization record
  • Proof of income – such as last year’s income tax return, check stubs, TANF printout from DFS

Click here to download the application.

Complete on your computer and then print for submission.

If you need further information, contact us. You can find contact information here.

If you need information about other Head Start programs in the state of Missouri, click here.

Headstart Program Contact Info

  • De Soto (C) 636-586-1042 x2
  • Fenton (C) 636-343-4402
  • Gray Summit Head Start and Early Head Start (C) and (HB) 636-451-0344
  • Hematite Head Start and Early Head Start (C) and (HB) 636-937-9497
  • House Springs @ Northwest Early Childhood Center (C) 636-671-3382 x113
  • Robertsville (HB) 636-257-9110
  • St Clair (C) 636-629-3500 x5058
  • Sullivan (C) 573-468-5446
  • Union (C) 636-583-6465
  • Union Early Childhood Center (C) 636-583-1202
  • Windsor (C) 636-467-5495


Medical Help

Doctors and Dentists
Families should call 1-888-275-5908 to make an application for Medicaid Services.

Medicaid information on the Web –

This web site tells about what MC+ provides and more information about MC+ services and providers.

Contact your Jefferson and Franklin County Family Support Division (FSD) [formerly DFS] for an application.

Jefferson County
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
PO Box 437
405 Maple Street
Hillsboro, Missouri 63050
Phone: 636-789-3372 or 636-942-3101Arnold
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
1818 Lonedell Road
Arnold, Missouri 63010
Phone: 636-282-1010Jefferson County Health Information Hotline
Franklin County
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
15 South Oak Street
Union, Missouri 63084
Phone: 636-583-7300

Medical/Dental Providers:
If you need information regarding medical or dental services for your child enrolled in the Head Start/Early Head Start program, please contact our administrative office at 636-789-3563.




HS/EHS pre-application

HS/EHS pre-application

Click here to download the application.

Complete on your computer and then print for submission.



Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get my child enrolled in Head Start?
Click here to download the application.
Mail it in or you may can go to the Agency intake office or any Head Start Center to do the application.
If I do an application, does that mean my child will get into Head Start right away?
Children are accepted on the basis of age, income and need.
What ages does Head Start take?
Head Start works with children between the ages of 3 and 5. The child’s birthday must fall before July 31st. Children must be 3 before July 31st. Children who are age eligible for Kindergarten are NOT eligible for Head Start.¬† EHS serves children ages birth to 3 and pregnant women.
What do I need to make an application for HS/EHS?
You will need the child’s birth certificate,¬†insurance card, Medicaid or MC+ card, their immunization record and proof of income.
Is there a fee for Head Start/EHS?
All Head Start/EHS services are free. There are no charges for any of the Head Start/EHS services.
Is Head Start open all year?
Head Start operates on a regular school year system. Summer time is vacation time. Early Head Start operates year round with approcimately 4 weeks off throughout the year for training and vacation.
Do you serve children with a disability?
Yes, 10% of our slots are reserved for enrolling children with disabilities.
Who can enroll in Head Start/EHS?
Any low-income child who is between ages 3 and 5 years old by July 31st each year is eligible to apply. Foster children, children from shelters and other family circumstances are encouraged to apply. Children with disabilities are also encouraged to apply. EHS uses the same guidelines with pregnant women, infants, toddlers to age 35 months.
My child has special needs. Can you serve him and where will he receive his therapy?
If your child has an IEP and receive therapy from your school district, we will open our center for the therapy sessions. If the therapy is at school we will work with the district to make sure that your child can receive both Head Start and Special Services.
How much do the meals cost?
There are no charges for the meals in Head Start nor for any other service in the program.
What are the hours of operation?
Classes for the part day Centers generally run from 8 am to 12 noon and from 12 noon to 4 pm. EHS operates generally from 7:45 am to 2:15 pm.
What Curriculums does Head Start use?
Head Start uses the High Scope Curriculum.
Can I volunteer?
Yes. Volunteers are welcome. Parents are our most common volunteer, working with children on special projects, helping at meal time and on the playground. Find more information here.
Other volunteers are drawn from colleges, local community organizations, firefighters, police, and grandparents that bring special events and help to the Head Start program.
What is Policy Council?
Policy Council serves the Head Start program much like a school board oversees the local school district. The Policy Council members are elected by the Head Start parents and help decide on rules, budget and staff.



Related Links


Income Guidelines

Income Guidelines
The figures that the Census Bureau uses are the poverty thresholds

2014 HHS Poverty Guidelines

Persons in Family 48 Contigous States & DC
1 $11,670
2 $15,730
3 $19,790
4 $23,850
5 $27,910
6 $31,970
7 $36,030
8 $40,090
For each additional person add $4,060