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Head Start and Early Head Start

Small child smiling for camera while playing with friends

Free Preschool and Home-Based Programs for Bucks County Children Ages Birth to Five and Pregnant Women 

Head Start and Early Head Start are federal programs designed to promote school readiness by enhancing the child’s cognitive, social and emotional development with a positive learning environment and a variety of services, including:

Early Learning

Children’s readiness for school and beyond is fostered through individualized learning experiences. Through relationships with adults, purposeful play, and planned and spontaneous instruction, children grow in all aspects of development. Children progress in social skills and emotional well-being, along with language and literacy learning, and concept development.

Health and Nutrition

Each child’s perceptual, motor, and physical development is supported to permit them to fully explore and function in their environment. All children receive health and development screenings, nutritious meals, oral health, and mental health support. Programs connect families with medical, dental, and mental health services to ensure that children are receiving the services they need.

Family Well-Being

Parents and families are supported in achieving their own goals, such as housing stability, continued education, and financial security. These programs emphasize the role of parents as their child’s first, and most important teacher, by helping to build relationships with the families and encouraging their involvement. Programs support and strengthen parent-child relationships and engage families around children’s learning and development.


Head Start

  • Serves children three - five years of age 
  • Monday through Friday class schedule (August-June)
  • Class size is approximately 15-20 students
  • Interactive learning environments
  • Nutritional snacks and meals
  • Family involvement
  • Open to, and supporting of, children with special needs

Early Head Start

  • Serves pregnant women and children from birth to age three
  • Weekly home visits
  • Monthly socialization groups
  • Promotes parents and children learning together
  • Health and wellness services
  • Mental and behavioral health services
  • Opportunities to engage in community activities

 

Eligibility and Enrollment

Bucks County Head Start programs are free to qualified families and children, as set by the federal government. Eligibility may change yearly and is based on income, or status with programs such as: Social Security Insurance (SSI), Temporary Assistance of Needy Families (TANF) or foster care; or other considerations such as homelessness. Some children may also be eligible for Pre-K Counts.  

To enroll, families will need to provide the following information:

  • Proof of Income This may be your W-2 or 1040 tax form from last year, or one month of paycheck stubs for the jobs you had during the past 12 months
  • Proof of Birth You can use your child’s birth certificate or hospital record
  • Proof of Residency Acceptable documents include a utility bill (such as cable TV, electricity, natural gas, oil) or a rental agreement, etc.

Online Pre-Application