Bucks IU Head Start and Early Head Start Programs

Free Preschool and Home-Based Programs for Bucks County Children Ages Birth to Five and Pregnant Women 

Head Start and Early Head Start are fed­er­al pro­grams designed to pro­mote school readi­ness by enhanc­ing the child’s cog­ni­tive, social and emo­tion­al devel­op­ment with a pos­i­tive learn­ing envi­ron­ment and a vari­ety of ser­vices, including:

Early Learning

Children’s readi­ness for school and beyond is fos­tered through indi­vid­u­al­ized learn­ing expe­ri­ences. Through rela­tion­ships with adults, pur­pose­ful play, and planned and spon­ta­neous instruc­tion, chil­dren grow in all aspects of devel­op­ment. Children progress in social skills and emo­tion­al well-being, along with lan­guage and lit­er­a­cy learn­ing, and con­cept development.

Health and Nutrition

Each child’s per­cep­tu­al, motor, and phys­i­cal devel­op­ment is sup­port­ed to per­mit them to ful­ly explore and func­tion in their envi­ron­ment. All chil­dren receive health and devel­op­ment screen­ings, nutri­tious meals, oral health, and men­tal health sup­port. Programs con­nect fam­i­lies with med­ical, den­tal, and men­tal health ser­vices to ensure that chil­dren are receiv­ing the ser­vices they need.

Family Well-Being

Parents and fam­i­lies are sup­port­ed in achiev­ing their own goals, such as hous­ing sta­bil­i­ty, con­tin­ued edu­ca­tion, and finan­cial secu­ri­ty. These pro­grams empha­size the role of par­ents as their child’s first, and most impor­tant teacher, by help­ing to build rela­tion­ships with the fam­i­lies and encour­ag­ing their involve­ment. Programs sup­port and strength­en parent-child rela­tion­ships and engage fam­i­lies around children’s learn­ing and development.

Head Start
  • Serves chil­dren three — five years of age 
  • Monday through Friday class sched­ule (August-June)
  • Class size is approx­i­mate­ly 15–20 students
  • Interactive learn­ing environments
  • Nutritional snacks and meals
  • Family involve­ment
  • Open to, and sup­port­ing of, chil­dren with spe­cial needs
Early Head Start
  • Serves preg­nant women and chil­dren from birth to age three
  • Weekly home visits
  • Monthly social­iza­tion groups
  • Promotes par­ents and chil­dren learn­ing together
  • Health and well­ness services
  • Mental and behav­ioral health services
  • Opportunities to engage in com­mu­ni­ty activities
Eligibility and Enrollment

Bucks County Head Start pro­grams are free to qual­i­fied fam­i­lies and chil­dren, as set by the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment. Eligibility may change year­ly and is based on income, or sta­tus with pro­grams such as: Social Security Insurance (SSI), Temporary Assistance of Needy Families (TANF) or fos­ter care; or oth­er con­sid­er­a­tions such as home­less­ness. Some chil­dren may also be eli­gi­ble for Pre‑K Counts.  

To enroll, families will need to provide the following information:

Proof of Income This may be your W‑2 or 1040 tax form from last year, or one month of pay­check stubs for the jobs you had dur­ing the past 12 months

Proof of Birth You can use your child’s birth certificate or hospital record

Proof of Residency Acceptable doc­u­ments include a util­i­ty bill (such as cable TV, elec­tric­i­ty, nat­ur­al gas, oil) or a rental agree­ment, etc.

Online Pre-Application