Head Start 0 to 5 is ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS
All COVID-19 health and safety measures in accordance with Fresno County Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are in place to ensure the health and well-being of families and children served. Staff will continue to engage families and deliver services throughout Fresno County. Head Start 0 to 5 follows all Community Care Licensing requirements.
For information about all of our services, call (559) 263-1200
Click here to see if you are eligible and to start the application process.
About Head Start 0 to 5
What is Head Start 0 to 5? Find out here.
Meals provided, click here to view menus.
Two Program options
We offer home-based services and center-based visitation services.
Click here to find the Head Start 0 to 5 location nearest to you.
Click here to join our team of volunteers.
About Head Start 0 to 5
What We Do
Head Start 0 to 5 is a federally funded community-based program for income eligible pregnant women and children ages birth to five, inclusive of children with disabilities. We provide comprehensive child development and family support services, including education, social, emotional, health, nutrition, family support, and disability services. Head Start 0 to 5 is committed to building strong children and families.
Our goals are:
- to promote healthy prenatal outcomes for pregnant women
- to enhance the development of children ages birth to five
- to promote healthy family functioning
Two program options
We offer two program options, Home-Based and Center-Based.
The Center Base option provides Part-day options which include 3.0, 6.0, 7.5 hour classes between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. with some longer hours that vary by location.
For ages 0 to 3 all diapers, wipes, bottles, food, and formula for the enrolled child are provided, while at the center. To enroll, families must verify a need due to employment and/or school,and it is not required that toddlers be toilet trained.
Head Start 0 to 5 Home-Base
Our home-based services provide a Family Development Specialist (serves pregnant women to children ages 0 to 3) and a Home Base Educator (serves families and children ages 3 to 5) who visits the home and provides a weekly 90-minute home visit offering school readiness activities for the family. Children have the opportunity to have a group socialization experience twice a month.
For prenatal we provide pre- and post-natal education inclusive of breastfeeding, fetal development, prenatal and postpartum depression, preparing and caring for baby and so much more.
For children, we provide parent education, child development guidance, parent/child interaction facilitation, ongoing developmental assessment, and much more.
Both program options include
- Individualized Curriculum and Early Literacy activities
- Parent Engagement and Family Support
- Disabilities Support (in collaboration with Part ‘C’ provider, 10% federal mandate)
- Ongoing Developmental Assessment
- Guidance in meeting Family Goals
- Program Governance activities
- Health, Safety, and Nutrition Education
- Community Engagement
HEAD START 0 TO 5 APPLICATIONS ARE ACCEPTED YEAR-ROUND!
To be eligible for Head Start 0 to 5, you must meet the Federal Poverty Guidelines, be a pregnant woman or have a child, age 0 to 5. (Note: selection preference is given to children who are homeless, in foster care, Public Assistance, SNAP recepients, or children with a certified disability (IFSP/IEP)).
How Do I Apply and Enroll?
Typically, the application process time is 1-2 weeks to go through Referral, Application, Verification, Notification, and Enrollment.
Referrals are our way of making an introduction. It gives us a chance to talk and welcome you. We can get to know you a little better so we can determine how we can best serve you and your family. It is also a way for other people to refer families who need our services.
Applications can be initiated online or by phone, however you are welcome to visit one of our Head Start 0 to 5 locations and meet in person. Below is how to begin the application online:
Pregnant mothers or children ages
0 to 2 years, 11 months old:
3 to 5 years old:
The documents listed below are required in order to complete the application and may be provided to our Head Start 0 to 5 staff in one of the following manners;
- Scanned and uploaded via a link provided
- Email the documents directly
- Drop them off at your local Head Start 0 to 5 center or our central office (see locations below)
If you are unable to do any of the following listed above, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our registration office at 559-263-1527, and our staff can conduct a home visit to pick up a copy of the document(s).
If you are ready to begin the application for Head Start 0 to 5, our staff will be happy to assist with the process.
- Prenatal Applicants: Proof of Pregnancy
- Verification of Birth (includes but is not limited to the following):
- Birth Certificate
- Hospital Medical Record / Hospital Medical Certificate
- Federal or State Records (Driver’s License, ID Card)
- Immunization Record
- Income Verification (includes but is not limited to the following):
- Previous year Income Tax Form 1040 (preferred)
- SSI Benefits
- Financial Aid
- Social Security, State Disability, and/or Unemployment Benefits
Once the application is complete, we will verify age and income to determine eligibility.
Upon verification, we will either send a letter, call, or make a home-visit (depending on needs).
The enrollment process can begin as soon as the next day, once notified. The process may include the need for additional paperwork, a home visit, or a phase-in at your local center.
Head Start 0 to 5 locations
= Head Start 0 to 5 Home Base Offices
= Ages 0 to 3 Center Based Locations
= Ages 0 to 3 Home Based Offices
= Ages 0 to 3 Center Based Locations
= Ages 3 to 5 Home Based Offices
= Ages 3 to 5 Center Based Offices
Home Based locations for ages 0 to 5
Center Based locations for ages 0 to 3
Clinton / Blythe
Center based locations for ages 3 to 5
Temporarily @ RICHARD KEYES
SHIELDS / FRESNO
frequently asked questions
Head Starts 0 to 5 program is designed to meet each child’s individual needs and the educational priorities of the community.
Regardless of cultural background or special needs, every child is offered a variety of learning experiences designed to foster physical, social, emotional, and cognitive growth and to develop an appreciation for ethnic and cultural diversity.
What is school readiness?
Head Start 0 to 5 defines school readiness as children possessing the skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary for success in school and for learning and later in life. The Approach to School Readiness means that children are ready for school, families are ready to support their children’s learning, and schools are ready for children. Head Start 0 to 5 is a leader in the early childhood field with a strong, clear, and comprehensive focus on healthy development, including physical, cognitive, language, literacy, social and emotional development, all of which are essential to children getting ready for school. We promote belonging for all infants, toddlers, and pre-school age children, and their families. Head Start 0 to 5 parents and staff create and build meaningful partnerships over time through daily interactions. Relationships are central to the Head Start School Readiness approach designed to be responsive and inclusive to the cultural diversity and language of families and children within our community. With a shared commitment and focus on each families’ strengths, we build positive goal-oriented relationships for the child’s well-being. Early relationships have long-term implications for all infant, toddlers, and preschool aged children’s development and their ability to learn and succeed in school.
What would be my child’s experience in a Head Start 0 to 5 program?
Routines in our Head Start 0 to 5 program are planned according to each child’s needs and occur in a timely and predictable manner. When environments are engaging, they support children’s participation in activities that promote development and learning. In our classrooms, we maintain a consistent and flexible Visual Daily Schedule. As time is blocked out in an orderly and consistent fashion, children tend to feel secure and become increasingly independent. Within the Daily Schedule, there is a balance of active and quiet times as well as a range of child initiated experiences, and teacher planned activities that provide opportunities for play, exploration, and problem solving. Activities offered occur in well-designed physical spaces or Interest Areas such as Blocks, Dramatic Play, Toys, Games, Art, Library, Discovery, Sand and Water, Music and Movement, Nutrition, and Outdoors. We include a balance of large group and small group activities. The schedule includes Choice Time, allowing children to choose the Interest Area in which they would like to play, with whom they want to play, and materials to use. As children move from one activity to another, transitions can be relaxed and provide opportunities for learning reinforcing concepts and skills. Transitions can be a challenge for some children; we provide individualized support and cues to build good habits. Mealtimes are more than just nourishing our bodies. Meal times in early infancy is different from toddlers, preschoolers, or even late infancy. Feeding can provide learning opportunities. When a caregiver holds a baby and makes eye contact, they are building social and emotional development. In preschool this includes the children and teacher sitting together to share a meal or snack and promotes learning and development such as expanding social skills, improved fine motor skills, increase self-confidence and using proper table manners. In the first five years of life, all young children learn in the context of caring, responsive, and stimulating relationships as they explore the world around them.
School readiness starts with health and Health Services ensuring all enrolled children have timely immunizations and screenings for basic health, hearing, vision and dental health. Referrals are made to community partners as needed.
In accordance with Community Care Licensing and the Head Start Program Performance Standards, each enrolled child is required to have a complete Physical Exam every year. If you do not have a primary Medical Doctor for your child, Head Start 0 to 5 staff will help you find one.
In accordance with Head Start Program Performance Standards, a high lead level can negatively affect your child’s ability to learn, staff will be providing information on lead exposure toxicity and will be asking if your child was ever tested for lead at one or two years of age, and were they in normal range?
Learn More [English PDF]Learn More [Spanish PDF]
Dental health is very important for general health. Children are recommended to see a dentist as soon as their first tooth comes in and obtain a dental exam every 6 months to a year thereafter. If you have not taken your child to the dentist in the past 6 months, Head Start 0 to 5 staff can help you find a dentist for your child.
If my child has a food allergy, sensitivity or requires a medical accommodation, will I have to bring his meal?
Head Start 0 to 5 is a sponsor of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), parents will need to complete paperwork and/or have their pediatrician complete a form. Upon receipt of the necessary documents, our Registered Dietitian and staff will prepare a Specialized Menu to meet your child’s needs.
CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES
Priority for enrollment is given to children who have an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP ages 0 to 3) or an Individualized Education Plan (IEP ages 3 to 5).
What if my child uses a walker or wheelchair, or has serious health problems?
Head Start 0 to 5 accepts children regardless of the type and severity of the disability. Most Head Start 0 to 5 sites are ADA accessible and at certain locations that offer bus transportation, the buses can accommodate wheelchairs.
Head Start 0 to 5 staff work together with medical and educational professionals in the community to make sure children’s needs are met.
Mental Health Services
Head Start 0 to 5 works with various community Mental Health Partners in referring for services as needed for example; All4Youth, Exceptional Parents Unlimited, Help Me Grow.
Family Engagement is strongly encouraged in our program; parents work together to decide what learning experiences they want for their children in our Head Start 0 to 5 Program.
Parents are encouraged to be involved since they are the experts of their child.
Aside from the parent volunteers who participate in our program, we do accept volunteers from the community on a case-by-case basis. For example, we have had students who need lab or community hours volunteer at our child development centers. Those who are interested in volunteering can fill out our Volunteer Application HERE or you can call (559) 263-1296.
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
Volunteer age is 16 years or older.
All volunteers must be fully immunized and up-to-date on the following:
- TB skin test or medical TB clearance
- COVID-19 Vaccine (or Religious/Medical Exemption)
- Flu (or Flue Declination – Which we provide)
The ability to relate well with young children, a general knowledge of child development, child behavior, and the processes involved in learning. Be a creative individual who can share his/her talents in the classroom and assist the teacher in the preparation of classroom materials. Good moral character and health.
A quality Head Start 0 to 5 program calls for many people working together, sharing their talents, knowledge, and energy so that the children can receive the greatest benefit possible.
Oversee Head Start’s 0 to 5 facilities and over 40 sites and Satellite Offices. Support Services provides safe, clean facilities and grounds that house children, Parent’s/or Guardian’s and staff of Head Start 0 to 5.
The team’s overall goal is to ensure buildings are safe and maintained for our future leaders.
The team also rises to the challenge of locating new facilities, maintenance of playground areas and support is provided to all Service Areas for both Early Head Start and Head Start.
Are you passionate about early childhood education? We are looking for volunteers to join our Head Start 0 to 5 team!
Aside from the parent volunteers who participate in our program, we do accept volunteers from the community on a case-by-case basis. For example, we have had students who need lab or community hours volunteer at our child development centers. Those who are interested in volunteering click the Volunteer Opportunities button above, or you can call (559) 263-1296
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
Let's get started
Click the Volunteer Application button below to View/Download. You can also pick up a physical application at any of our locations!
Head Start 0 to 5 Stories
Head Start History
In January of 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared The War on Poverty in his State of the Union speech. Shortly thereafter, Sargent Shriver took the lead in assembling a panel of experts to develop a comprehensive child development program that would help communities meet the needs of disadvantaged preschool children. Among these experts were Dr. Robert Cooke, a pediatrician at John Hopkins University, and Dr. Edward Zigler, a professor of psychology and director of the Child Study Center at Yale University.
Part of the government’s thinking on poverty was influenced by new research on the effects of poverty, as well as on the impacts of education. This research indicated an obligation to help disadvantaged groups, compensating for inequality in social or economic conditions. Head Start was designed to help break the cycle of poverty, providing preschool children of low-income families with a comprehensive program to meet their emotional, social, health, nutritional and psychological needs. A key tenet of the program established that it be culturally responsive to the communities served, and that the communities have an investment in its success through the contribution of volunteer hours and other donations as nonfederal share.
In the summers of 1965 and 1966, the Office of Economic Opportunity launched an eight-week Project Head Start. In 1969, under the Nixon administration, Head Start was transferred from the Office of Economic Opportunity to the Office of Child Development in the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Dr. Edward Zigler, who had served on the planning committee to launch Project Head Start, was appointed Director of the Office of Child Development. In 1977, under the Carter administration, Head Start began bilingual and bicultural programs in about 21 states. Seven years later, in October 1984 under the Reagan administration, Head Start’s grant budget exceeded $1 billion. In September of 1995, under the Clinton administration, the first Early Head Start grants were given and in October of 1998, Head Start was reauthorized to expand to full-day and full-year services.
Head Start was most recently reauthorized again in 2007, under the George W. Bush administration, with several provisions to strengthen Head Start quality. These include alignment of Head Start school readiness goals with state early learning standards, higher qualifications for the Head Start teaching workforce, State Advisory Councils on Early Care and Education in every state, and increased program monitoring, including a review of child outcomes and annual financial audits. The Head Start training and technical assistance system was redesigned to support programs through six National Centers and a state-based system to ensure success.
The statute also included a provision that regulations be promulgated to move programs from an indefinite project period to a five-year grant cycle. Programs would be required to demonstrate they are of high quality or a competitive grant opportunity would be made available within the community. In 2009, under the Obama administration, the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act added more than 64,000 slots for Early Head Start and Head Start programs.
Head Start has served more than 30 million children since 1965, growing from an eight-week demonstration project to include full day/year services and many program options. Currently, Head Start is administered by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) in the Department of Health and Human Services. Head Start serves over a million children and their families each year in urban and rural areas in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. territories, including American Indian, Alaska Native, and Migrant and Seasonal communities.
For more information on the history of Head Start, please visit: Head Start History | ECLKC (hhs.gov)
FRESNO EOC HEAD START HISTORY
Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission (Fresno EOC) Head Start Preschool has successfully provided comprehensive child development services for low-income preschool children and their families since 1965. Services include Education, Nutrition, Health, Family Services, Parental Engagement and Inclusion Services. Expansion of services to children ages 0 to 3 years old was implemented in 1996 through the Early Head Start Program.
Fresno EOC Head Start Preschool currently serves approximately 2,112 Head Start and 478 Early Head Start children throughout Fresno County in over 38 centers and 13 home-based areas.
Annual Reports are available upon request.