Project Description

Head Start & Early Head Start

Since 1965, Head Start has served millions of children and families across the United States. There are approximately 2,000 Head Start and Early Head Start grantee agencies providing an array of child and family development services. CHTOP operates three such programs in Durham and Orange Counties.

Originally, Head Start was for children age three and four. In the 1990s, the Early Head Start Program was initiated for children from birth to age three. Many Head Start programs are providing a continuum of Head Start services to the full age range from birth to kindergarten, giving many children and their families several years of growth and development in the program.

We encourage you to apply if you feel that you are eligible for the Durham Head Start & Early Head Start Program. Families with the greatest need are selected for enrollment each year.

About Orange County, NC Head Start

The Orange County Head Start & Early Head Start program began in 1997 as an Early Head Start program. Originally, the program was funded to serve 100 children age birth to three and pregnant women in low-income households in Orange County, NC. In 2003, the Pre-K Head Start program was added with funding to serve 80 additional children and families in Northern Orange County.

Orange County is composed of two distinct areas that conform to the two school districts that serve the county. The Chapel Hill-Carrboro area is in the southeastern corner of the county and is home to the University of North Carolina, and its 20,000 students. With more than half the county’s population, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area has its own school system. The rest of the county is mainly rural with social, educational and economic conditions that are typical of other rural areas in the state. The Orange County school district serves the rest of the county.

The Chapel Hill Training-Outreach Project, Inc. was a division of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School System (CHCCS) from 1969 until 1997. In 1984, FCR acquired funding to start the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Head Start program which remained with the CHCCS after FCR. became an independent, 501 (c)(3), non-profit organization in 1997.

Today, there are two Head Start programs serving Orange County:

  • The Chapel Hill-Carrboro Head Start Program of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School System
  • The Orange County Head Start & Early Head Start program of Families & Communities Rising

Click here to access the Notice of Lead in Water Hazard notification for Fairview.

Durham County Main Office
215 West Seminary Street
Durham, NC 27701
Phone: 919-688-5541

Orange County Main Office
4220 NC-55, Suite 300
Durham, NC 27713
Phone: 919-490-5577

Apply Now

Apply to Durham HS/EHS (English)
Postularse a Durham HS/EHS (Español)
Apply to Orange County HS/EHS (English)
Postularse a Orange County HS/EHS (Español)

Durham County Information

  • Families living in Durham County who meet income eligibility as determined by Federal Poverty Guidelines. See table below.
  • Children with documented disabilities may be eligible regardless of income.
  • Foster children and children from families receiving public assistance (TANF or SSI) regardless of income.
  • To meet the enrollment criteria for the Durham Head Start program, families must meet the poverty guidelines that are established by the United Starts Department of Health and Human Services.
  • At time of application, families must present documentation to demonstrate that they are living at or below the guidelines listed below.

2019 Head Start Family Income Eligibility Guidelines (130% of the Federal guidelines for poverty):

Family Size Annual Family Income
2 $21,983
3 $27,729
4 $33,475
5 $39,221
6 $44,967
7 $50,713
8 $56,459
For each additional family member add: $4,420

If you wish to apply, please fill out the digital application (below) and submit it today. Remember, there is a waiting list of many other families who want to enroll their children so good luck.

Applications are available in English and Spanish:

Click here for English. For assistance in English, call (984) 464-1502.

Click here for Spanish. For assistance in Spanish, call (984) 208-5295.

In addition to submitting the application above, you may be asked to provide the following information later.

  1. Proof of income or school for both legal guardians, if in the home (Examples are: Pay stubs for 1 month, most recent W-2 or 1040 Tax form, SSI or TANF documentation, Letter from Employer, Letter from School, School schedule, or a notarized Statement of No Income).
  2. Proof of child’s age – something official with your child’s birth date on it (Birth Certificate or Passport, Medicaid Card, etc.).
  3. Proof of Durham County Residency – a lease or bill or ID that show you live in Durham County.
  4. Special Services Paperwork – if your child receives any special services, documentation about that (sometimes called an IFSP).

Christian Prep

1405 NC-54 Durham, NC 27713

(919) 416-1726 | MAP

Leathers Meachem

908 Liberty Street Durham, NC 27701

(919) 536-5560 | MAP

Seminary DHS/EHS

215 West Seminary Avenue Durham, NC 27701

(919) 688-5541 | MAP

Durham Head Start @ RTP

4900 Prosepctus Drive, Ste. 300 Durham, NC 27713

(919) 973-2016 | MAP

Leathers Meachem DHS/EHS

908 Liberty Street Durham, NC 27701

(919) 536-5560 | MAP

Lyon Park HS

1309 Halley Street Durham, NC 27707

(919) 980-1003 | MAP

McDougald Terrace

1101 E. Lawson Street Durham, NC 27701

(919) 598-1910 | MAP

Oxford Manor

3633 Keystone Place Durham, NC 27704

(919) 220-5605 | MAP

Seminary DHS/EHS

215 West Seminary Avenue Durham, NC 27701

(919) 688-5541 | MAP

Orange County Information

To qualify for enrollment in the Orange County Head Start and Early Head Start program, families must meet the poverty guidelines that are established by the US Department of Health and Human Services.

At time of enrollment, families must provide documentation to demonstrate that they are living at or below these guidelines.

2020  Head Start Family Income Eligibility Guidelines (130% of the Federal guidelines for poverty):

Family Size: Yearly family Income
100%
Yearly family Income
130%
1 $12,760 $16,588
2 $17,240 $22,412
3 $21,720 $28,236
4 $26,200 $34,060
5 $30,680 $39,884
6 $35,160 $45,708
7 $39,640 $51,532
8 $44,120 $57,356
For each additional family member  Add: $4,480
Pregnant women and families with children under age three who are living in Orange County are eligible to apply for the Early Head Start program. Families with children age 3 and 4 and who reside in that portion of Orange County served by the Orange County Schools are eligible to apply for the Pre-K Head Start program. Those otherwise qualified families living in the portion of Orange County served by the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools are eligible to apply for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Pre-K Head Start program.

Click on the table below for Head Start enrollment applications (in English or Spanish) that you can print, fill out and mail along with additional required documents to:
Orange Co. Head Start and Early Head Start
4220 NC-55, Suite 300
Durham, NC 27713

English: Spanish:
Head Start and Early Head Start Head Start and Early Head Start

All Head Start families receive an array of individualized services based on each family’s situation: their strengths, needs, goals, and aspirations. Families who qualify for center-based services receive high quality child care/education at low or no cost. Families who qualify for the home-based option are offered parent-child playgroups and weekly home visits focused on parent education and child development. All home-based and playgroup services are offered in Spanish and at no cost to enrolled families

When a family enrolls in Head Start, they are given a thorough assessment and then they have an opportunity to develop their own individualized plan for their family based on their circumstances and their goals and objectives. Head Start staff then helps the family achieve these goals.

Head Start Services Include:

  • High Quality Child Care
  • Home-based option
  • Health, medical and nutrition services for child and family
  • Mental health and substance abuse services
  • Child dental services
  • Literacy services, including ESL
  • Involvement of parents in program governance
  • Services to enhance self-sufficiency
  • Services for children with disabilities

In order to provide this array of services with limited funding, a fundamental philosophy of collaboration is the foundation for program operations. Program staff works with many area organizations to assure that Head Start families are provided the resources they need to make a real difference in their lives. Collaborators include:

  • Orange County Partnership for Children
  • Smart Start
  • NC PreK
  • Two nationally accredited child care centers
  • Area Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse agency
  • Orange County Health Department
  • Orange County Department of Social Services
  • Orange County Literacy Council
  • UNC Hospitals

A special collaborative relationship has been developed with the Orange County Schools which is providing classroom space at three of their elementary schools. A goal for the OC Schools and the Head Start program is to expand into the other elementary schools in Orange County so that each of their schools will have a Pre-K classroom for children who will be enrolling in that school the following year.

In Head Start, parents are regarded as their child’s primary teacher. Parents are involved in all aspect of the program from volunteering in the classrooms to participating on the Head Start main decision-making board, the Head Start Policy Council.

The Head Start Policy Council has primary responsibility for operating the Head Start program in partnership with the FCR. Board of Directors. The Policy Council is composed mainly (80%) of current Head Start parents. Other members are community representatives. No Head Start staff member is a voting member of the Council. One Policy Council member is also a member of the FCR Board of Directors.

Chapel Hill Day Care Center

401 Kildare Road Chapel, NC 27516

(919) 929-3585 | MAP

Fairview Child and Family Center

125 Lawndale Avenue Hillsborough, NC 27278

(919) 643-2009 | MAP

HB- Homestead Based Playgroups

600 Homestead Road Chapel Hill, NC 27514

(919) 490-5577 | MAP

KidSCope Early Learning Center

1712 Willow Drive Chapel Hill, NC 27514

(919) 644-6590 | MAP

UNC Horizons Child Development Center

134 Municipal Drive Chapel Hill, NC 27514

(919) 445-6127 | MAP

Fairview Child and Family Center

125 Lawndale Hillsborough, NC 27278

(919) 643-4000 | MAP

Orange County School District

125 Lawndale Hillsborough, NC 27278

(919) 490-5577 | MAP

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