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 We are always accepting applications 


We are an income based program that follows the federal poverty guidelines. That being said, we also have limited slots for families in the "over-income" category.


We take much more than just income into consideration when processing applications.


Some other factors that we consider include: 

  • Age of the child

  • Social services received (WIC, SNAP, Healthy MT Kids Plus, CFS, etc.)

  • Homelessness

  • Foster Care

  • Parent's age and  education level

  • Disability/Health/Mental Health

  • Single/Two parent household


If you are interested in filling out an application you can reach out to the office in your county.


You can also download a PDF application from our website, or submit the fillable application. 

Please reach out for more information, click here to be redirected to our contact information

Happy Girl

Federal Poverty Guidelines

(As of 1/1/2024)

Number in Family          Yearly Income

2                                     $20, 440

 3                                     $25, 820

4                                     $31, 200

5                                     $36, 580

6                                     $41, 960

7                                     $47, 340

8                                     $52, 720

For families/households with more than 8 persons,

add $5, 380 for each additional person.

Toddler Playing Drums


  • Should I still apply if I am over income?
    Yes, you should still apply! While we are considered an income based program, we are better described as a needs-based program. The enrollment team takes every family's situation into consideration. Income is not the only factor that goes into determining eligibility.
  • What documents do I need to apply with?
    For enrollment, every child/prenatal will need an application and income documents. Immunizations and birth certificate can be provided at a later date.
  • What if I do not work and do not have income documents?
    Still apply! Head Start can verify income many different ways. If your family is experiencing homelessness, receiving TANF, has someone in the household on SSI, or are receiving SNAP benefits, staff can use these to verify with. If these do not apply to you, apply anyways and staff will work with you on the easiest way to document no income.
  • What is Head Start's definition of "homeless?"
    The Office of Head Start uses the McKinney Vento definition of homeless. The term "homeless children and youths"-- (A) means individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence; and (B) includes-- (i) children and youths who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; or are abandoned in hospitals; (ii) children and youths who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings; (iii) children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and (iv) migratory children (as such term is defined in section 1309 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965) who qualify as homeless for the purposes of this subtitle because the children are living in circumstances described in clauses (i) through (iii). Information is taken directly from the National Center for Homeless Education:
  • Does my child need to be potty trained to attend?
    No! Your child does not need to be potty trained to attend any of our program options (EHS and HS)! If that is a goal you are currently working on, or would like to work on, we are here to help. Our program provides all diapers, pull-ups, and wipes. If your child needs a specific type/brand, our team will work with your family to support your child.
  • Does the Missoula location accept children over three years old?
    Unfortunately, no we do not accept children over three years of age in Missoula. Missoula Early Head Start is a program for children 0-3 years old. If you have a child over three years old and you are residing within Missoula County, we recommend you contact Child Start for the Head Start in Missoula. You can also contact Child Care Resources, as they are very helpful at finding childcare.
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