Families in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP program, are now eligible to receive Head Start services, thanks to a broader interpretation of what constitutes public assistance.
The federal Office of Head Start (OHS) recently released an Information Memorandum explaining the expansion of eligibility.
Previously, the OHS considered only the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and Supplemental Security Income to be public assistance. But the OHS “found that SNAP households with young children have equivalent levels of need to families currently receiving Head Start services.”
The move will help streamline the eligibility process for Head Start. Instead of multiple paystubs for documenting income, SNAP recipients can provide a copy of notice of SNAP approval, other documentation of benefits from the SNAP agency, or their Electronic Benefit Transfer card with the SNAP ID number on it.
An added benefit of the expanded eligibility is that it facilitates “cross-program recruitment” and eliminates burdensome paperwork for “families who are already eligible for” public assistance. By removing barriers to assistance, people in need of crucial services will now be able to get those services without the need to navigate multiple federal eligibility processes.
Head Start is now enrolling, and offers full scholarships to all students.
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