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Early Head Start / Head Start

Children, from newborns to 5-year-olds, can receive free care and education to help them develop socially, intellectually, physically and emotionally.

Services include: full day educational programs, child development screenings, health and nutrition services, free meals and parent engagement opportunities.

Transportation assistance is provided to children with an IEP receiving a prescribed treatment or therapy arranged by the program. Staff will provide full details regarding transportation options.


  • How to Apply

    Low-income families in Miami-Dade County can apply for this free program at any time of the year.

    Complete the application and forms, and bring them to your desired location. Hours vary by location.


  • Eligibility

    • Early Head Start: newborn to 3 years of age.
    • Head Start: 3 to 4 years of age on or before Sept. 1, 2018, or no more than 5 years of age after Sept. 1, 2018.
    • Children do not need to be potty trained for either program.
  • Requirements

    • Proof of parent's/legal guardian gross income for the past 12 months or the last calendar year.
    • Submit one of the following:
      • A signed income tax form 1040.
      • W-2 forms or pay stubs, pay envelopes, or unemployment compensation.
      • Written statements from employers.
      • Documentation showing current status as recipients of public assistance.
        • Social Security Supplemental Income (SSI)
        • Temporary Assistance for the Needy (TANF)
        • Child Support
      • Picture Identification of parent(s)/legal guardian.
      • Submit one of the following:
        • Driver's License
        • State issued photo identification
        • Employer identification
        • Proof of Miami-Dade County residency
  • Children with Disabilities

    Children with disabilities and their families receive the full range of Head Start pre-school program services. Children will be provided with the following services:

    • Outreach recruitment/enrollment
    • Screening for possible intervention
    • Development and implementation of the Individual Education Plan (IEP)
    • Transition into Head Start and later into their local school district

    If your child has a diagnosed disability, you must attach the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or the Individualized Family Support Plan (IFSP) or evaluation report as part of the application.

    An Individualized Education Plan (EIP) is required for all children ages 3 to 5 who have been diagnosed with a disability. An EIP is a form of your child's learning needs, the services the school will provide and their progress will be measured. Parents must complete this form at the time when you enroll (through their doctor, or if they participate in a different early childcare program) or discovered that they need one during the child’s assessment/screening. If discovered during the assessment, the child is referred to the appropriate provider to complete.

  • About Head Start

    The Miami-Dade Early Head Start / Head Start is the largest program in the southeastern United States. It was recognized as a Program of Excellence by the National Head Start Association. The program serves about 6,900 children and families.

    Women can register while pregnant. Families can be active participants in classroom, group activities, and in their child's growth. Parents can get involved in the planning and decision-making process. Parents will also serve on committees and may represent their center on the Head Start Policy Council.

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