Early Head Start (EHS) is a program for families on a limited income with children from birth to three years old and pregnant women. Other Head Start/ECEAP programs serve children from birth to 5 years old. It is a free program that provides comprehensive child development, early learning and parent support services to low income families.
Early Head Start enrolls pregnant women and families with children up to 30 months of age. Families are income-eligible if their total income is less than 100% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (PDF). Families with infants and toddlers with a diagnosed disability or other special need may still be eligible even if they are over income limits. Families who are homeless according to the McKinney-Vento Act, receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), or have a foster child, are categorically eligible.
How to get started:
- Search for programs in your area (i.e. county website, schools and community colleges)
- Make contact with the program manager.
- Set up a meet and greet with staff (typically during a staff meeting – can be done in person or virtually) to share your program and services.
- Gather important information such as ages served and languages represented.
- Ask to be a speaker during one of their regularly scheduled parenting classes to share education on a variety of topics (we speak 2x per year on child passenger safety and fire safety). Allow time for questions as there are typically many!
Services Offered by Safe Kids Snohomish County:
- Printed seasonal safety information in various languages.
- Car seat checks (in person or virtual).
- Seat check event at their location.
- Free (or for donation) convertible and booster seats or other safety devices such as bike helmets, sleep sacks, smoke and CO alarms.
Overcoming Language Gaps:
- Head Start programs have embedded workers that can translate during presentations.
- Staff can facilitate seat checks by working out the time, place and details about the family, seats needed, vehicle info, paperwork, etc.
- Typically we meet caregivers with a Head Start staff person for seat checks so they can provide translation.