Head Start Program

Head Start of LaPorte County

What Is Head Start?

Head Start promotes school readiness for children, ages three to five, in low-income families by offering educational, nutritional, health, social, and other services. Head Start programs enhance the social and cognitive development of children and actively engage families in their children's learning so that children will be successful in kindergarten.

Head Start is a program run by the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The program is funded primarily by the federal government, but also relies on the community to cover a portion of the operating costs, generally through volunteering or donations. The services provided by the Head Start program come at no financial cost to the enrolled families.

Head Start serves over a million children and their families each year in urban and rural areas in all 50 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Territories, including many American Indian and migrant children.

Want to Learn More? 

Head Start Services

Head Start of LaPorte County supports the comprehensive development of children from 3 to 5 years old, in our centers and in the following ways:

Teachers facilitate individualized learning experiences to promote children’s readiness for school and beyond. Through planned and spontaneous instruction, relationships with adults, and play, children grow in language and literacy, early math and science concepts, and social and emotional development.

Children receive health and development screenings, nutritious meals, oral health and mental health support. Programs connect families with medical, dental, and mental health services, and ensure that children are receiving the services they need.

Parents and families are supported in achieving their own goals, such as housing stability, continued education, and financial security. Programs support and strengthen parent-child relationships and engage families around children’s learning and development.

How Do I Apply for Head Start

Eligibility is generally based on family income at or below the poverty level according to the Poverty Guidelines published by the federal government. Children in foster care, homeless children, and children from families receiving public assistance (TANF, SNAP or SSI) are eligible regardless of income.

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1: Step One

First, fill out the pre-enrollment form located just below. Eligibility will be determined based on Head Start guidelines. A Head Start of LaPorte staff member will contact you within 2 business days. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Head Start Pre-Enrollment Form
This form is filled out by parents interested in applying for Head Start services. They are delivered to the Eligibility, Recruitment, Selection, Enrollment, and Attendance (ERSEA) Coordinator for review.
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2: Step Two

After a Head Start of LaPorte County staff member contacts you, they will schedule an Enrollment meeting with you. Eligibility will be determined based on Head Start guidelines. Selection and enrollment will be based on our approved set of criteria that is designed to prioritize the children and families who are most in need in our community.​

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3: Step Three

In order to apply for the Head Start program, the required documents listed below will need to be gathered and submitted to Head Start of LaPorte County. The documents mentioned in step two need to be brought to the Enrollment Meeting.

  • ​Birth Certificate
  • Medicaid/Insurance Card
  • Income Record
  • Current Health Exam Record  (including hemoglobin & lead results)
  • Current Dental Exam Record
  • ​Immunization Records

Head Start Mission

Head Start promotes the school readiness of young children from low income families by enhancing their cognitive, social, and emotional development.

The National Head Start Association (NHSA)'s mission is to coalesce, inspire, and support the Head Start field as a leader in early childhood development and education.

Head Start Vision

The National Head Start Association (NHSA)'s vision is to lead—to be the untiring voice that will not be quiet until every vulnerable child is served with the Head Start model of support for the whole child, the family and the community—and to advocate—to work diligently for policy and institutional changes that ensure all vulnerable children and families have what they need to succeed.

Parent Committee & Policy Council

We want to make your child’s experience at Head Start fun. We also want to make your experience enjoyable, educational, and productive. We offer many parent education programs, volunteer engagements, and parent leadership opportunities that support parenting and can even lead to employment. We ask you to help guide our programming decisions based on the unique needs of our community so we can make our program the best it can be. Please consider serving on our Parent Committees or Policy Council

Parent Committee

Parent meetings provide an effective and meaningful way for parents and guardians to guide our program decision-making, parent education, curriculum planning, and methods of communication with staff.

Each of our Head Start sites has a Parent Committee that holds regular monthly meetings. ALL parents are members of the Parent Committees and are empowered to elect Parent Representatives to serve on the Policy Council.

Policy Council

Policy Council members meet every month, approve financial reports, funding requests and policy changes. This is a fantastic opportunity for parents and guardians to learn more about Head Start operations, funding, and programming. It is also a chance to make decisions that ensure we are doing the best that we can to improve the lives of Head Start children and families, as well as the broader community. The Policy Council is made up of at least 51% parents, and includes governing board members and community members.

Our Locations

Imagination Station

Located in the heart of the Edgewood Neighborhood in Michigan City.

Head Start

Niemann School; Home of Head Start of LaPorte County

Head Start

Bethany Lutheran Church; Home of Head Start of LaPorte County

All Sites Are Equipped With

  • Closed circuit monitoring of every room
  • Secured entry system
  • Radio Communication System
  • One-touch emergency call buttons
  • Strict adherence to licensing, health, and fire regulations
  • ADA accessible and developmentally appropriate fenced-in playgrounds
  • Comprehensive staff training on safety drills, emergency procedures, and active supervision.

Ready to Help?

Head Start is a program run by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The program is funded primarily by the federal government, but also relies on the community to cover a portion of the operating costs, generally through volunteering or donations. May we count on you today?