Search the list of Frequently Asked Questions below. Simply click on the question your interested in to display the answer.

If you’re still in need of assistance, you can always contact us directly with additional inquiries. 

How do I take an application for my child for Head Start?2020-09-15T07:54:54-05:00

You can fill out the contact us information on this website, call or stop by your local Head Start center which is listed on this website under Head Start—-Locations. You can also call the Central Office at 573-454-2200 for more information. You will need the following information to complete an application:

1. Child’s birth certificate or hospital record

2. Proof of income:

  • Last year’s income tax return
  • Current SSI printout from Social Security office
  • Social Security Disability 1099 form or printout from Social Security office for all members of the  family
  • Current TANF printout from Family Support Division
  • If you do not have the above, a letter from all employers stating gross wages and beginning and ending dates of employment.

or filling out a preliminary application now…and then going to this Link:


How long will it be before there is an opening for Head Start?2020-09-14T15:52:06-05:00

We are unable to determine when there will be an opening as we select children off of the waitlist as children drop from the program. Please be sure and keep an updated phone number with Head Start so we will be able to reach you when your child does come up on the waiting list.

Can my child only come 2 or 3 days a week?2020-09-14T15:53:22-05:00

We want a child to have the full experience of Head Start. Consistent attendance is a great foundation for a child to begin their school career. We require the children to attend all four days of week.

How much does it cost?2020-09-14T15:54:11-05:00
NOTHING! Head Start is completely free! We provide all meals and supplies to the children!
Do you provide transportation?2020-09-14T15:55:01-05:00

Due to safety concerns and the cost of transportation we do NOT provide transportation. All children are to be brought to the center and picked up by a parent or a designee from the parent.

Why is my child on a waitlist for Head Start?2020-09-15T07:55:45-05:00
Our Head Start applications are not first come, first serve. We are required by the Office of Head Start Performance Standards to ensure we enroll children by our priority grid. Items in the grid are based on a point system which is how we pick children off of our waitlist. Below are the priority grid items:


Income: The child’s income must fall below the poverty guidelines of the Administration for Children and Families. https://aspe.hhs.gov/2020-poverty-guidelines   (We realize that these guidelines are low; however, this is a federal funding requirement.)

Age: Must be 3-years-old before August 1 and not be school-age (5-years-old before August 1).  Older children have higher priority.

Once age and income guidelines are met, selection is based on those with the highest priorities:

No caregiver in the home:  Both parents are working, in school or on disability or a combination of these or a single parent who meets one of these criteria receive higher priority.

Disability: Children enrolled in the school’s early childhood special education program receive higher priority.  Head Start must serve 10% children with disabilities.

Exception: Over-income children who are enrolled in the public school’s early childhood special education program will be considered if Head Start would be the best placement.

Special family circumstances also are given higher priority:  These are homelessness, living in a shelter, abuse or neglect, incarceration of a parent; recent death or terminal illness of immediate family member, disability or mental illness of immediate family member; suspected disability of the applicant child; and/or children living in a home other than a child’s parent    (e.g. relative) who has legal custody of the child.

Children are picked off of the waitlist until the spring of the following year.
Why did my family receive an over-income letter for Head Start?2020-09-15T07:56:39-05:00

Poverty guidelines are set each year by the US Department of Health and Human Services. Our program accepts children whose families make up to 130% of the income guidelines which can be found here: https://aspe.hhs.gov/2020-poverty-guidelines

What are the income guidelines for Head Start?2020-09-17T11:21:31-05:00

The HHS Poverty Guidelines are used to determine income eligibility for participation in the Head Start program.

Children from homeless families, and families receiving public assistance such as TANF or SSI are also eligible. Foster children are eligible regardless of their foster family’s income.

The guidelines are issued each year in the Federal Register by the Department of Health and Human Services. Select this link for the HHS Poverty Guidelines

How do I obtain assistance on food, clothing, shelter, utilities, etc.?2020-06-16T20:38:57-05:00

Please visit your local outreach office with identification on everyone in your household (photo id, social security card, birth certificate, etc.). A Community Services Representative will assist you.

When can I apply for energy assistance2020-06-16T20:42:24-05:00

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) begins accepting applications from elderly and/or disabled households on October 1.  All other households may apply on/after November 1.  The last day to apply for LIHEAP is March 31.  Winter Energy Crisis applications are accepted from October 1-May 31 depending upon availability of funds.  Summer Energy Crisis applications are accepted from June 1- September 30 also depending upon funding availability.

I have a disconnection notice. What do I do?2020-06-16T20:44:02-05:00

If you have not applied for LIHEAP, you must first complete an application. Please visit your local outreach office within 3 days of your disconnection OR fax an application, disconnection notice and required documentation to 573-431-7377 OR mail an application, disconnection notice and required documentation to EMAA Attn: Energy Assistance, PO Box 308, Park Hills, MO 63601.

If you have received LIHEAP since October 1, 2016 and have not moved, you can visit your local outreach office within 3 days of your disconnection OR fax the disconnection notice with the applicant’s name and phone number to 573-431-7377 OR mail the disconnection notice with the applicant’s name and phone number to EMAA Attn: Energy Assistance, PO Box 308, Park Hills, MO 63601.

How do I get help on my rent?2020-06-16T20:45:30-05:00

For crisis assistance, you will need to visit your local outreach office. For Section 8 rental assistance (aka HUD), contact the Housing department closest to you, (573) 431-5391 in Park Hills; 573-334-3666 in Cape Girardeau; 573-333-5227 in Caruthersville.

Who do I contact regarding job opportunities EMAA?2020-09-15T09:51:17-05:00

Please refer to our job listings or contact our Human Resources Coordinator by calling 573-431-5191.

What are the Women’s Wellness Hours?2020-06-16T20:58:46-05:00

The Women’s Wellness Center in Park Hills & Cape Girardeau is open on Mondays-Thursdays from 7:30 A.M. – 5:00 P.M.

Clinic Hours:

Cape Girardeau Clinic:  Monday: 7:30 am – 5:00 pm

Park Hills Clinic:  Tuesday: 7:30 am – 5:00 pm

Cape Girardeau Clinic:  Wednesday: 7:30 am – 5:00 pm

Park Hills Clinic:  Thursday: 7:30 am – 5:00 pm

Fredericktown Clinic:  Every 3rd Tuesday in March, June, September and December.  Located at the Madison County Health Dept.

What counties does EMAA serve?2020-06-16T21:00:06-05:00

EMAA typically services Bollinger, Cape Girardeau, Iron, Madison, Perry, St. Francois, Ste Genevieve and Washington counties in Missouri. The Section 8 Housing department also services the counties of Dunklin, Mississippi, Pemiscot & Stoddard in Missouri.

How do I apply for Weatherization?2020-06-16T21:00:55-05:00

Check out the Weatherization page to download our most recent application and instructions for applying.

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