Covid-19 AlertDue to COVID-19 health concerns, Head Start sites remain closed.

During this closure, staff will continue to engage families and to deliver remote services where possible. Fresno EOC will be providing meals to over 3,000 enrolled prenatal women and children of Head Start 0 to 5. Early Head Start families will receive home delivery and Head Start families will have a pick-up date at their Head Start site. View locations and dates.

Take our Parent Survey

The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting all of our lives in unique ways. Head Start has been adapting some of our work to be more responsive to the extraordinary times we are living in right now. One of our goals is to meet the needs of our community. Please complete the survey to let us know how we can better serve you and your child.

Eligibility

Head Start offers center-based and home-based services to families who meet federal low-income guidelines. Find out more here.

Enroll in Head Start

Find out what you need in order to apply / refer yourself or families you know to the Head Start program.

Meals provided

Head Start provides a free breakfast or free afternoon snack and lunch at no charge. Learn more about the meal program here.

Locations

Head Start has many locations. Click here to find the center nearest to you.

What We Do

Head Start is a NO COST preschool program primarily servicing low income families. Children must be at least three years old or turning three by September 1st. Head Start provides comprehensive services including education, social, emotional, health, nutritional, family support and disability services to children and families. Head Start is committed to building strong children and families.

Head Start services are available in two options: center-based and home-based. Center-based services offer part-day (3.5 hours, 6 hours, or 7.5 hours) or full-day options (11 hours) that vary by location. In the home-based option, a home-based educator visits the home for 1.5 hours per week offering the family school readiness activities. Children have the opportunity to have a group socialization experience twice a month in the home-based option.

What is Head Start
All About?

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, medical, dental, parental involvement and social services. Expansion of services to children ages 0-3 was implemented in 1996 through the Early Head Start Program. Over 94,899 Head Start Preschool children and 4,736 Early Head Start children and their families have received service from Fresno EOC since the program began in 1965.

The purpose of Fresno EOC Head Start is to promote the school readiness of low-income children by enhancing their cognitive, social, and emotional development in two ways:

1. The learning environment will support children’s growth in language, literacy, mathematics, science, creative arts, physical skills, emotional function, and approaches to learning; and

2. Each family will be provided with health, educational, nutritional, social, and other services when necessary based on the family’s needs assessments.

Fresno EOC Head Start Preschool currently serves approximately 2,750 Head Start and 308 Early Head Start children throughout Fresno County in over 34 centers and 17 home-based areas.

Eligibility

Applications are accepted for children who  will be three years of age on or before September 1st for the kindergarten enrollment age.

Head Start offers no-cost services to families who meet federal low-income guidelines. Families who receive public assistance or other benefits may also be eligible. Families with income above federal poverty guidelines are also encouraged to apply for Head Start.

Head Start gives priority to families based on the age of child and household income. Every effort will be made to ensure children who have a certifiable disability is enrolled in order to meet the mandated 10% disability requirement.

Early Head Start provides services for pregnant women, babies, and toddlers up to three years old.

How Do I Apply?

Fill out and submit the online form first. Then visit or call your neighborhood Head Start site today to make an appointment with Family Services or home-based staff.  Bring the following to the appointment:

  • Your child’s birth certificate or proof of birth
  • Household income verification (this could be a 1040, W-2, or a notice of action from TANF, SSI or CalWorks)
  • Your child’s Immunization Record

The Head Start Application will need to be completed by Head Start staff. The Head Start Application will need to be signed by a Parent or Legal Guardian; application cannot be signed by any other family member.

Meals provided

Head Start provides a free breakfast (for children attending in the morning) or free afternoon snack and lunch at no charge to parents by utilizing the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).

Head Start Locations

AREA II
Ted C. Wills Community Center

770 N. San Pablo
Fresno, CA 93728

P:(559) 486-1463
F:(559) 486-1464

BROOKS
Brooks Head Start Location

1504 N. Weber
Fresno, CA 93728

P:(559) 264-6586
F:(559) 264-6496 

CANTUA
Cantua Elementary School

29288 W. Clarkson Ave.
Cantua Creek, CA 93608

P:(559) 829-9749
F:(559) 829-6793

CARUTHERS
Caruthers Elementary School

2420 W. Clemenceau Ave.
Caruthers, CA 93609

P:(559) 864-0322
F:(559) 262-1636

CEDARWOOD
El Encino Baptist Church

2063 S. Cedar
Fresno, CA 93702

P:(559) 237-5254
F:(559) 237-5260

CITRUS
A.L. Conner Elementary School

112 – 4th St.
Orange Cove, CA 93646

P:(559) 626-0542
F:(559) 262-1637

CLOVIS
Sierra Vista Elementary School

510 Barstow
Clovis, CA 93612

P:(559) 323-9678
F:(559) 262-1638

COLLEGE COMMUNITY
College Community Church

2529 Willow Ave.
Clovis, CA 93612 

P:(559) 347-9854
F:(559) 262-1664

DAKOTA CIRCLE

4156 E. Dakota Ave.
Fresno, CA 93726 

P:(559) 228-0331
F:(559) 262-1639

 

ESTELLE DAILEY
Community United Church of Christ

5550 N. Fresno St.
Fresno, CA 93710

P:(559) 431-0019
F:(559) 262-1657

FIREBAUGH
Hazel Bailey Elementary School

1725 Saipan Ave.
Firebaugh, CA 93622

P:(559) 659-2542
F:(559) 262-1640

FRANKLIN
Franklin Head Start

1189 Martin St.
Fresno, CA 93706

P:(559) 233-0882
F:(559) 233-0926

HURON
Huron Elementary School

16641 Palmer St.
Huron, CA 93234

P:(559) 945-2697
F:(559) 262-1642

IVY
Mary Ella Brown Community Center

1350 E. Annadale
Fresno, CA 93706

P:(559) 233-0141
F:(559) 233-0142

JEFFERSON
Jefferson Elementary School

1240 E. Washington St.
Reedley, CA 93654

P:(559) 637-0025
or (559) 638-0250
F:(559) 262-1643

KINGS CANYON


4995 E. Balch
Fresno, CA 93727

P:(559) 252-7594
F:(559) 262-1644

LA COLONIA
Parlier Civic Center

745 Tulare St
Parlier, CA 93648

P:(559) 263-1200
F:(559) 263-1287

MADISON
Madison Elementary School

388 S. Brawley
Fresno, CA 93706

P:(559) 497-8018
F:(559) 497-5865

MAPLE VISTA
Sierra Vista United Methodist

4609 E. Illinois
Fresno, CA 93702

P:(559) 252-9506
F:(559) 262-1646

MENDOTA
Mendota Farm Labor Bldg.

295 W. Tuft
Mendota, CA 93640

P:(559) 655-3314
F:(559) 262-1647

MOLLY NEVAREZ
To Be Determined

4710 N. Polk Avenue
Fresno, CA 93722

P:(559) 263-1200
F:(559) 263-1287

MOSQUEDA
Mosqueda Community Center

4676 E. Butler
Fresno, CA 93702

P:(559) 255-8099
F:(559) 262-1649

PINEDALE
Pinedale Elementary School

7171 N. Sugarpine
Pinedale, CA 93650

P:(559) 327-7748
P:(559) 327-7749
F:(559) 262-1650

RAMACHER
Ramacher Educational Complex

710 N. Hughes
Fresno, CA 93728

P:(559) 264-7120
F:(559) 264-7237

ROMAIN
Romain Neighborhood Center

745 N. First St.
Fresno, CA 93702

P:(559) 442-4131
F:(559) 442-4132

ROOSEVELT
Roosevelt Elementary School

1701 Alton St., Ste. A
Selma, CA 93662

P:(559) 891-0186
F:(559) 262-1652

SAN JOAQUIN
San Joaquin Elementary School

8535 S. Ninth
San Joaquin, CA 93660

P:(559) 693-4571
F:(559) 262-1653

SANGER
Iglesia La Roca

3037 S. Orchid
Sanger, CA 93657

P:(559) 875-2581
or (559) 875-2582
F:(559) 262-1654

SEQUOIA
First Congregational Church

2121 N. Van Ness
Fresno, CA 93704

P:(559) 244-0195
F:(559) 262-1655

WASHINGTON
Washington Elementary School

1420 Second St.
Selma, CA 93662

P:(559) 891-7330
F:(559) 262-1656

WILSON
Wilson Elementary School

1325 Stillman
Selma, CA 93662

P:(559) 896-0142
F:(559) 262-1658

YOSEMITE
Fresno Iglesia Del Nazareno

4718 E. Yale
Fresno, CA 93703

P:(559) 253-1230
F:(559) 262-1659

Head Start Home-Based Offices

NORTH FRESNO
Home-Based Satellite Office

4273 W. Richert, Suite # 107 & 108
Fresno, CA 93722

P:(559) 274-1016
F:(559) 262-1662

  • Clovis HB
  • Highway City HB

SOUTHEAST FRESNO
Home-Based Satellite Office

4273 W. Richert, Suite # 107 & 108
Fresno, CA 93722

P:(559) 274-1035
F:(559) 262-1662

  • Kings Canyon HB
  • Southeast County HB

SOUTH COUNTY
Home-Based Satellite Office

208 E. Merced St.
Fowler, CA 93625

P:(559) 834-4565
F:(559) 262-1660

  • Fowler HB
  • Easton / Raisin City HB
  • South County HB

WEST COUNTY
Home-Based Satellite Office

2420 W. Clemenceau Ave.
Caruthers, CA 93609

P:(559) 864-1005
or (559) 864-1006
F:(559) 262-1636

  • Coalinga HB
  • West County HB

SOUTHWEST COUNTY
Home-Based Satellite Office

719 Madera Ave
Kerman, CA 93630

P:(559) 846-3979
F:(559) 262-1661

  • Biola HB
  • Kerman HB
  • Mendota HB

EAST COUNTY
Home-Based Satellite Office

1202 “G” Street
Reedley, CA 93654

P:(559) 638-1145
F:(559) 262-1637

  • Mountain Area HB
  • Reedley HB
  • Selma HB

SANGER
Home-Based Satellite Office

1101 E. Annadale, Suite #101
Sanger, CA 93657

P:(559) 875-9032
F:(559) 875-9042

  • Malaga HB
  • Sanger HB

frequently asked questions

APPLYING FOR HEAD START

WHAT IS HEAD START?

Head Start provides comprehensive educational, emotional, social, health, and nutritional services for preschool-aged children (3-5 yrs.) and their families. Children are provided with a variety of age-appropriate early childhood education/learning experiences. They participate in indoor and outdoor play and are encouraged to express their feelings. Meals are served to every child along with a snack when they arrive. Parent involvement is encouraged by parents volunteering in the classroom, attending local parent meetings at each center and making decisions regarding their child’s education. Families are provided with assistance and referrals to various agencies and resources that may be needed.

HOW DID HEAD START BEGIN?

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.

Part of the government’s thinking on poverty was influenced by new research on the effects of poverty, as well as on the impact 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.

For more information on the history of Head Start, please visit: http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/hs/about/history

HOW DO I REGISTER MY CHILD?

Applicants must meet federal poverty guidelines. We are federally mandated to serve low-income children and their families. Head Start has 34 centers and 17 home-based areas that we serve. These are listed on our website, along with contact information and addresses.

To begin the registration process for your child, please bring your child’s birth certificate, proof of income, and immunization record to the center nearest to you. We offer education, health, nutrition, disability, and family support services. Transportation is available at designated locations. Call (559) 263-1527 for more information. We take applications year-round. Office hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday – Friday.

WHAT DO I NEED TO REGISTER MY CHILD?
  • Child’s Birth Certificate
  • Proof of Income (1040 Income Tax Form, W-2’s, TANF)
  • Immunization Record
WHAT IS A REFERRAL?

A referral is information taken on the child and the family to begin the registration process

DOES A REFERRAL PUT MY CHILD ON A WAIT LIST? OR IS THAT AN APPLICATION?

No, it does not put your child on a wait list or automatically enroll your child. It is used to begin the process of applying to Head Start.

HOW LONG AFTER I REGISTER WILL MY CHILD BE ABLE TO GET INTO HEAD START?

Once the application is complete, it depends on the waiting list at the center. The number of vacancies varies at each Head Start center.

EDUCATION

WHAT WOULD BE MY CHILD’S ROUTINE IN A HEAD START PROGRAM?

Most children who enroll in Head Start attend a half-day center-based program. However, some communities may operate a full-day program or provide Head Start services through a home-based setting. In a home-based program, staff called Home-Based Educators teach parents how to provide learning experiences for their own children.

Some Center-Based programs offer children transportation to and from home.

Classroom time includes many different activities. Some teachers begin the day by asking the children to sit in a circle. This encourages the children to talk about an idea or experience they want to share with others. In some centers, the children plan their activities. They may choose art, playing with blocks or table toys, science activities, dancing to music, looking at books, or pretend housekeeping. Children can switch activities if they prefer another challenge.

Each day, they have time to work in a small group with other children and to play outdoors on safe playground equipment.

At mealtime, children receive a nutritious meal and brush their teeth. All the children are taught to wash their hands before meals and are encouraged to develop good personal and health habits.

WHAT IS SCHOOL READINESS?

Head Start defines school readiness as children possessing the skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary for success in school and for later learning and life. The Head Start 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 is a leader in the early childhood field with a strong, clear, and comprehensive focus on all aspects of healthy development, including physical, cognitive, and social and emotional development, all of which are essential to children getting ready for school.

HEALTH SERVICES

WHAT IS HEALTH SERVICES?

The responsibility of Health Services is to ensure that all children receive comprehensive health services (medical and dental) as required in the Performance Standards. Detailed medical histories and health records are kept. Early detection of health issues and prevention are primary objectives. Teachers are instructed in CPR and First Aid in the event that health staff is not present at the site. The health staff conduct programs of health education directed to the children, staff, and parents. Referrals are made when resources are available and needed. A Health Services Advisory Committee (HSAC) composed of staff, community professionals and parents meet twice a year and functions in an advisory and planning capacity to meet the health and nutrition services of the program.

MY CHILD HAS SPEECH PROBLEMS, WHAT DO I DO?
Call your local school and ask for an appointment to have him or her evaluated for speech.
DO YOU HAVE A COPY OF MY CHILD’S DENTAL AND IMMUNIZATION RECORDS? I NEED IT FOR KINDERGARTEN.

The most current information regarding your child’s dental and immunization records would be with your doctor and dentist. We can fax your child’s dental and immunization records to your child’s new school, provided we have an accurate fax number.

NUTRITION SERVICES

DOES HEAD START CHARGE FOR THE MEALS SERVED TO CHILDREN?

No. Head Start provides a breakfast (for children attending in the morning) or afternoon snack and lunch at no charge to parents by utilizing the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).

IF MY CHILD HAS A FOOD ALLERGY, SENSITIVITY OR REQUIRES A MEDICAL ACCOMMODATION, WILL I HAVE TO BRING HIS MEAL?

Because Head Start is a sponsor of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), we will work with each parent to ensure every child enrolled in the program is provided for nutritionally. Parents will need to complete some paperwork and/or have their pediatrician complete a form. Upon receipt of the necessary documents, our Registered Dietitian and highly trained staff will alter or craft a menu specific to your child’s needs.

IF I HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE MENU, FEEDING MY CHILD OR FAMILY OR A GENERAL NUTRITION QUESTIONS, IS THERE ANYONE WHO COULD SPEAK TO ME ABOUT MY CONCERNS?

Our Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Services staff are always available to answer your questions about the food children are served, the menu, and sound nutrition practices.

SPECIAL NEEDS

MY CHILD SEEMS BEHIND OTHERS HIS/HER AGE. WHAT CAN I DO?

Always check with your child’s doctor first, to see if there is a health or physical problem. For example, hearing problems can cause delayed speech or language because a child cannot hear all the sounds properly. The next step is to contact your local school district and ask about a screening to see if your child qualifies for any special education services, such as speech therapy or services from a Hearing or Vision Impairment specialist. School districts offer a variety of services/programs for students with disabilities from ages 0-22, and all services are free.

WHAT ARE THE ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS?

Head Start is a federally-funded program designed to provide services to low-income families who are at or below the federal poverty guidelines. Special consideration is given to foster children, homeless families, and others in specific circumstances. Priority status is given to children who are 4 years old by September 1 of that program year and to children with disabilities who have a certified IEP.

HOW DO I ENROLL MY CHILD IN HEAD START?

You should complete an application for your child as early as possible in the spring for the best chance for fall enrollment, although applications are taken any time of year. Your child must be 3 years old by September 1st to qualify for that program year. You may complete an application at your nearest Head Start center or our Head Start Central Office, located at 1920 Mariposa Street, #200, call (559) 263-1200. You will need to bring the following documents: Proof of Income (1040 Income Tax Form, W-2’s, TANF), Proof of Age (birth certificate, hospital medical record) and immunization record. If your child already has an IEP (Individual Education Plan) or IFSP (IndividualizedFamily Service Plan) from your local school district, bring that in too. Head Start gives priority enrollment points for children with certified IEPs.

WHAT IF MY CHILD USES A WALKER OR WHEELCHAIR, OR HAS SERIOUS HEALTH PROBLEMS?

Head Start accepts children regardless of the type and severity of the disability. Most Head Start sites are ADA accessible and at certain locations that offer bus transportation, the buses can accommodate wheelchairs. Head Start staff work together with medical and educational professionals in the community to make sure children’s needs are met.

THERE IS NO HEAD START CENTER NEARBY. IS THERE ANOTHER PRESCHOOL OPTION AVAILABLE?

Head Start Home-Based offers all the services (education, health, nutrition, family services, parent engagement) just as in center-based programs. Home-Based Educators provide in-home services to families weekly and provide classroom socialization activities twice per month.

Volunteer Services

Head Start accepts parent volunteers as well as others to work in a preschool setting. Please contact our Volunteer Services staff at (559) 263-1200 to hear about potential volunteer opportunities.

Requirements

All volunteers must have an assessment for TB and other required immunizations (measles/pertussis/flu).

Qualifications

Enthusiasm and a strong interest in preschool education is a must. The ability to relate well with preschool 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.

Fresno EOC Head Start Preschool Volunteer Job Description

POSITION TITLE: Volunteer Teacher Assistant
REPORTS TO: Center Teacher Director or Teacher
OBJECTIVE: To insure that the teacher has adequate assistance carrying out the daily schedule and objectives.
RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Assist teacher in carrying out daily lesson plans.
  • Assist in preparation of classroom materials.
  • Work with small groups of children to   encourage self-expression and good self-esteem.
  • Work with a child on a one-to-one basis to carry out an individualized program.
  • Assist with maintenance and up-keep of the classroom.
  • Assist teacher with supervision on the playground.
  • Accompany and assist with supervision on field trips.
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the teacher.

USDA Nondiscrimination Statement

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: https://www.ascr.usda.gov/filing-discrimination-complaint-usda-customer, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

  • mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;
  • fax: (202) 690-7442; or
  • email: program.intake@usda.gov.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.