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Head Start School Readiness Assistance

Learn how you and your family can receive free school readiness assistance.

What is Head Start and Early Head Start?

Head Start programs support children’s growth in a positive learning environment through a variety of services to increase your child’s school readiness. If you currently receive SNAP (Link), SSI (disability benefits), TANF or WIC, your children are automatically eligible for free school readiness assistance through Head Start and Early Head Start!

Want to Get Benefits to Help You Qualify for Head Start?

We’re here to help.

Our team will answer your questions and refer you to help for SNAP and WIC.

Contact our team to get started and receive benefits that can alleviate financial hardships.



How to Access Head Start and Other FAQs

Can’t find an answer to your question? We’re here to help.

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Head Start and Early Head Start programs are free, federally funded programs designed to promote school readiness for children from low-income families. Early Head Start serves pregnant women and families with children under age 3. Head Start programs serve children between 3 and 5 years old.

Families currently receiving SNAP (Link), SSI (disability benefits), TANF, or WIC are all automatically eligible to participate in Head Start/Early Head start programming.

Learn more about Head Start and Early Head Start.

To apply for Head Start and Early Head Start, contact the program serving your community using the Head Start Locator tool. Your local program will provide the required forms and answer your questions. They will also tell you what documents you should bring with you to apply.

You can apply for benefits online today at

If you live in Chicago or Cook County and have any questions regarding SNAP benefits or need assistance applying, our expert team can provide free assistance! Learn more.

If you live outside of Cook County and have any questions regarding SNAP benefits or need assistance applying, please contact the Illinois Department of Human Services at 800-843-6154.

If you live in Cook County and need additional support with food, or if you are not eligible for SNAP, our network of Cook County food pantries and programs can help. Visit our map to find a food pantry near you.

If you live outside of Cook County, find your local food bank for assistance.

Explore Other Federal and State-Sponsored Programs

If you’re in need, assistance is available. Head Start is just one of many federal and state-sponsored programs that get resources into the hands of those who need them most.

Food & Medical Benefits Programs

Access the Benefits You Deserve

Food is a human right. Work with our team to get access to the food and medical benefits you need.