Head Start and Early Head Start

CONTACT INFORMATION: Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
703-324-8290 TTY 711
Pennino Building, 12011 Government Center Parkway, Suite 920
Fairfax, VA 22035
Flor Philips

Frequently Asked Questions

banner head start children posing for photo

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the ages for each center?

  • Early Head Start serves ages 0 - 3 and pregnant women. Early Head Start sites
  • Head Start serves ages 3 - 5. All programs serve both 3s and 4s but FCPS serves almost exclusively 4-year-olds.

What are the income guidelines? Am I considered low-income?

Head Start uses the federal poverty guidelines to determine eligibility.  Fairfax County Office for Children serves families with up to 130% of the poverty level; Fairfax County Public Schools serve families with up to 185% of the poverty level.

How long is the waitlist?

Waiting lists vary by program location. It can be as few as two children or as many as 200. Please call the program you are interested in for more information. It is important to submit your application early - typically between January and March - to be placed on the waiting list for the Fall session.

What kind of food will my child eat while in care?

Fairfax County Early Head Start and Head Start program provides nutritious meals that follow the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Child Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) guidelines.

I am a Family Services worker for a Head Start parent in "another county" and they are getting ready to move to FFX County. What is the process for this family to continue to receive services? Is there a "transfer" of files that could be done between Head Start offices?

Head Start guidelines vary between grantees even within the same state. Please contact us and we will assist you in referring the family to the correct program.

How I can apply for Head Start jobs? Please review job openings for each program on their respective websites:

Fairfax County or follow Office for Children on Facebook

Fairfax County Public Schools

Higher Horizons

How can I volunteer for Head Start?

Please call 703-324-8290 and ask for the Education/Disabilities Administrator who will be able to give you more information about the current opportunities available.

Do you offer professional development classes?

We do not offer professional development classes to the public, but we do provide professional development to staff and Early Head Start family child care providers. Please see the Institute for Early Learning for additional courses on Child Development.

How can I become a provider for Head Start?

Please contact our office at 703-324-8290.

What are the benefits of Family Child Care?

Early Head Start Family Child Care is a full day, full year program. This option offers a smaller group size for young children, and one consistent caregiver. Many family child care providers have extended hours to help working parents. There is also the possibility to have non EHS child in same environment as EHS child (mixed age groups). Just as we do for center-based Early Head Start, the Family Child Care option includes comprehensive services including screenings, health follow ups and support of family goals.

How do I apply for SNAP (formerly known as Food Stamps) benefits?

For more information, view the list of offices, or call 703-324-3000, TTY 703-222-9452.

How do I apply for Medicaid?

By phone: Call Cover Virginia (easiest and fastest) at 1-855-242-8282. This service can accommodate 160 languages and takes about 30 minutes (state sponsored insurance only).

By Internet: The online application takes about one hour (can be saved and returned to later). Multiple benefits can be applied for on this site (SNAP, Medicaid, etc)

Paper application: Sent from the local Department of Family Services. Completed in seven steps.

In-person: Local Department of Family Services office will help in person.

*Partnership for Healthier Kids, a group that will help families with application assistance, is available at 703-289-2072, TTY 711.

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