Head Start FAQs



Is Head Start like school or day care?<Back to Top>
Head Start provides comprehensive programming individualized based on the strengths and needs of each child. Programming includes cognitive development, health and nutrition programming, family development, and attention to special needs.

What does a typical center-based program day look like?<Back to Top>
Center based programs run on a six-hour day. Children arrive in the morning and start their day with a full breakfast followed by teeth brushing. The morning includes large and small group activities as well as free play. Large motor skill development activities are a part of this programming. A nutritious lunch is provided followed by teeth brushing. The afternoon includes a quiet rest time followed by dismissal.

Are extended day programs available?<Back to Top>
Extended day program spaces are limited. Only a few of our centers provide an extended day program.

Where are the centers located?<Back to Top>
Centers are located throughout Albany County. Please click HERE for a list of centers and to find the center nearest you.

What is the Home Based Program?<Back to Top>
A home visitor provides education and family development programming once a week. In addition, members of the home based program meet twice a month for socialization. The program benefits five to eight children each year. Placement for the home based program is done through the general application process.

Are centers licensed under NYS day care?<Back to Top>
All Head Start classrooms are monitored to meet Head Start performance standards that are set at the federal level. Some of our centers are New York State day care licensed. Other centers are located within public school buildings.

What does Head Start offer for parents?<Back to Top>
Each Head Start family is assigned a Service Navigator who works with the family to set and meet goals throughout the program year. Parents first meet the Service Navigator during intake.

How can I get involved with Head Start?<Back to Top>
Parents have a number of opportunities to become involved in their children’s Head Start experience. Each center has a parent committee that meets monthly to network and plan activities. Parent committee members have an opportunity to serve as a representative at the Policy Council. The Policy Council meets several times throughout the year and acts as the governing board of ACAP’s Head Start. The council makes decisions regarding programming. There are also a number of opportunities to volunteer in your child’s classroom throughout the year. Volunteers are needed to assist with activities, read with children, and chaperone field trips. For more information or to become involved, please contact your center director.

Head Start appreciates support from the community. Our program would love for you to share your time and talents even if you don’t have a child enrolled. If you are interested in making a difference please contact a local center, or ACAP’s main office.

How do I apply?<Back to Top>
A parent or guardian must complete an intake with our Service Navigation department at 333 Sheridan Ave. to apply. Call 463-3175 to schedule and appointment; walk-ins are welcome as well. Inquiries can also be made at any ACAP Early Childhood Center. Program selection is based on a number of criteria; it is NOT first come first served.

What are the criteria for eligibility?<Back to Top>
To be eligible for Head Start:

  • The child must be 3 or 4 years old by December 1st. If the child turns three between the beginning of the school year and December 1st they may not start attending school until after their 3rd birthday.
  • Meet federal income eligibility guidelines
  • Reside in Albany County*

*For four-year-olds there is school district residency eligibility requirement at some of our centers.

What choices are provided on the application?<Back to Top>
The application provides opportunities to express interest in the extended day program, transportation, center location, and home-based programming. All of these options are limited and not necessarily available at all centers. The spots are filled based on the general application.

What happens when if my child is placed on a waitlist?<Back to Top>
The waitlist is used to fill slots as they become available during the program year. To be on the waiting list you must apply and be eligible. The dental and physical forms do not have to be filed to be considered eligible or to have a place on the waitlist.

Contact Us:

Albany Community Action Partnership Head Start
333 Sheridan Avenue
Albany, NY 12206
Tel.: 518.463.3175
Fax: 518.432.6504

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