What Is Head Start
Head Start is a free, federally funded preschool/family program operated in almost every county in the country, serving children three to five years old. Head Start centers provide programs and services including the following:
- Individualized educational programming to support each child’s school readiness
- Opportunities for children with disabilities to fully participate
- On-going child assessment to support individualization and record progress
- Transportation available when possible
- Collaborative 4K programming offered in Beloit, Janesville, and Delavan
- Family involvement opportunities with special efforts to include dads/significant males
- Families supported in setting and achieving self-identified goals
- Medical and dental resources provided to access medical and dental services/homes
- Nutritional meals and snacks are provided
- Referrals to address needs and support goals
- Opportunities available to meet and interact with other families and programs in the community
- Training, development of leadership skills and volunteer opportunities are provided to families
- Parent leadership through representation on policy council/program governance
To qualify for the Head Start program:
- Family income must be at or below the Federal Poverty Guideline though some exceptions may be made for families moderately over these amounts. These income guidelines can be waived for families with special circumstances who might benefit from placement in Head Start.
- Children must be at least three years of age to enroll in the RWCFS Head Start program.
- Families must reside in Rock or Walworth County.
- A child must not be eligible for kindergarten at the time of enrollment.
- Special emphasis is given to four year old children.
- A child with a disability will receive priority points.
- Regardless of any changes in family income, once a child is determined eligible and enrolled in the program, he or she will remain eligible for the program throughout the current year and for a second year, as long as he or she still meets the age requirements.
- Placement and Waiting Lists – Children must meet the federal government’s income guidelines. Eligible children are ranked by income and age and families with the lowest incomes (adjusted for family size) will be assigned the highest ranking and, therefore, served first. If space is not available for a child, he or she will be placed on a waiting list until space becomes available. A child who leaves the program may re-apply later in the year and will be placed on the waiting list according to his or her ranking at the date of re-application.
TRANSPORTATION IN HEAD START is recognized as a valuable learning experience in the area of safety and learning social skills. Providing a safe transition to and from the center requires cooperation and team work between staff & parents/guardians.
- An Adult must walk their child to the bus for pick up and meet the bus for drop off.
- Bus transportation is provided on a limited basis depending on a family’s home address and the classroom location.
ADMINISTRATIVE CENTER 1-608-299-1500 OR TOLL FREE: 1-800-774-7778
For more detail, see service tabs.
To learn how to apply, go to Enrollment Page.