Apply for FECEP/Head Start/Early Head Start
Family and Early Childhood Education Program (FECEP)/Head Start and Early Head Start provides a high-quality early learning experience for qualifying income-eligible newborns to five-year-olds.
The FECEP/Head Start/Early Head Start program provides a quality preschool experience with comprehensive services at no cost to qualifying families who reside in Fairfax County. Your family may qualify for FECEP/Head Start if you have a child who will be age 3, 4 or 5 (not eligible for Kindergarten) by October 1st, receive free or reduced-price school meals, TANF, Social Security Income, and/or homeless per definition of the McKinney Vento Act and receive resources such as from a shelter and/or the FCPS homeless liaison office. Early Head Start is for children 0-3 years of age and pregnant women who live in the Reston, Herndon and Springfield areas.
Though families may qualify, spaces are limited and selection is based on need, not “first come, first serve”, with priority given to ages 4 and 5 (not eligible for Kindergarten). The application process begins January 1st for the following school year starting in September. However it is important for all families to apply as soon as possible.
Note: The application eligibility, selection and enrollment process is managed centrally at the Office of Early Childhood Curriculum and Grant Management located in Falls Church; not at schools. If you a have question about the application process or status please call the main English Line: 703-208-7900 or Spanish Line: 703-208-7901.
Application and Enrollment Process
You cannot submit the application online. You must download, print, complete and submit to our central office FECEP/Head Start/Early Head Start 7423 Camp Alger Ave., Falls Church, VA 22042. The address is also listed on the application.
In order to begin the application process you will need to submit the following:
FECEP/Head Start/Early Head Start Application Form
Please download, print, and complete the application for the FECEP/Head Start/Early Head Start Programs
2. Copy of child applicant’s birth certificate.
3. Copy of residency document(s) which apply to your living situation: lease, deed, or mortgage statement. Note: If you live with someone and your name is not on a lease or deed then please download and complete the affidavits’ per the enclosed instructions.
When we receive your application and supporting documents, a family service partner will contact you for a brief five to ten minute interview and provide you with a checklist of income verification documents to submit to complete the application process. The family service partner assigned to your application will help guide your family through the rest of the application process.
Your application will be reviewed and eligibility verified by staff and managers. If your child is not eligible, you will receive a letter via US mail with a list of private preschools in your community and a “parent tip sheet” with ideas for helping prepare your child for transitioning to kindergarten.
For families who are eligible for the program, the child applicant will either be selected, if space is available, or placed on the waitlist. If your child is placed on the waitlist, you will receive a waitlist letter via US mail. If a space becomes available and your child is selected for the space, you will receive an acceptance letter via US mail in addition to a phone call to schedule an enrollment appointment.
If your child is selected for a space, the acceptance letter is mailed with required enrollment forms: school physical, dental exam, and FCPS school registration forms. Enrollment is required and must be completed before your child can begin school.
Enrollment requirements are as follows:
- A parent/legal guardian must meet with family service partner to submit your child’s completed enrollment packet. You will be contacted by the family service partner to schedule an appointment.
- Your child must have a current school physical with up-to-date immunizations; a home visit with the teacher must be completed. The teacher will call you to schedule an appointment.
- As children are enrolled in the FECEP/Head Start program, it is important to maintain accurate medical records. The following health forms are used to ensure your child is healthy and are required to be on file prior to a child’s first day of school in the FECEP/Head Start program. These forms may also be asked to be updated throughout the school year. Please submit the following forms to your assigned Family Service Partner or your child’s classroom teacher when asked to provide them for your child.
FECEP/Head Start Health Form
School Entrance Physical Examination
- Spaces are limited.
- Acceptance into the program is based on need, not “first come, first served” with priority given to 4 and 5 year olds (not eligible for Kindergarten). Families are encouraged to apply as soon as possible, beginning January 1st of each year for the following school year starting in September.
- A family service partner will be assigned to guide your family through the entire application process.
- Only complete applications can be processed for possible consideration for a space; only eligible applicants can be considered for selection.
- If you have questions please call our office at: English 703-208-7900 or Spanish 703-208-7901.