Head Start is a federally funded program for preschool children in economically disadvantaged families. This comprehensive child development program offers an array of educational, health, social, and other services, with a particular focus on early reading and math skills. Head Start also provides health screenings that include physicals, immunizations, dental examinations, vision and hearing screenings, and mental health assessments. Early Head Start provides services to children birth to three years of age and their families, as well as pregnant women.
McKinney-Vento students who are “unaccompanied” (not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian) are automatically eligible to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as independent students, meaning they do not have to provide a parental income information or signature. However, unaccompanied youth must be verified as such by a school district McKinney-Vento liaison or director of certain shelters or youth programs. It is critical that high school counselors know which students are eligible when they complete the FAFSA and help those students receive proper verification from the liaison.