Head Start Pasadena » Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Head Start?

Head Start is a federally funded preschool program for children ages 3 to 5 that provides comprehensive early childhood education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services to low-income children and their families. The program's services and resources are designed to foster stable family relationships, enhance children's physical and emotional well-being, and establish an environment to develop strong cognitive skills. Head Start most often corresponds with the public school calendar. There is a 3 ½ hour class, a 5 hour class and a 6 hour class.


What is the curriculum?

HighScope is a research-based curriculum that promotes children’s development through active learning. HighScope takes the learning process beyond traditional academic subjects by applying methods that promote independence, curiosity, decision-making, cooperation, persistence, creativity, and problem solving in young children which is important throughout their lives.

Parents as Teachers (PAT) is the evidence based curriculum used in our Home Based program.  The goal of the Parents as Teachers curriculum is to provide parents with child development knowledge, parenting support, and to increase children’s school readiness skills through weekly home visits.


Is there a cost?

No, Families must meet the Federal Eligibility Guidelines. Family income eligibility may be waived for some families with children who have an Individualized Education Program (IEP). Free meals and snacks are provided.


What are the teacher’s qualifications?

We have a highly qualified and professional staff in our Head Start program. Teachers and parent educators have an Associate’s or a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education.


Where are the locations?

We have sites in Altadena, Eagle Rock, Highland Park, Pasadena, Monrovia, and La Verne. Home Based is offered in the locations above as well as in Arcadia, San Marino, Sierra Madre, and South Pasadena.


What is Home Based?

Head Start offers Home Based services to families who are interested in working closely with the teacher to plan together to support their child’s learning.  The learning focus is through parent-child interactions, daily routine, and using the home environment as a learning environment for the child.  The Parent Educator visits the parent and child on a weekly basis for 1 ½ hour.  There are socializations twice a month for 3 ½ hours in which the parents, parent educator, and other children receiving home based services get together for group socialization (group learning). 


How can parents be involved?

Parents are a vital part of our program. Parent participation is always welcome and encouraged.  There are a variety of opportunities to volunteer such as parent committees, policy council, and classroom assistance. 


What if my child has special needs?

Options for Learning believes that all children deserve the opportunity to reach their full potential.  We offer classroom or home based learning environments for children with special needs.  The Disabilities Coordinator will work with you and your child’s IEP team to identify the appropriate program placement.  


What about health?

We offer health services through free professional hearing, and vision screening, and meal plans for children with food allergies. The Health Coordinator is available to answer health-related questions that you may have about your child.


How do I start the enrollment process?

Call our division office at (626) 204-8900 and ask to talk to a Family Service Specialist.

Required documentation:

  • Income Verification (W-2, Check stubs, SSI, Cal-works),
  • Address Verification (Utility bill, ID/ Driver License, Hospital or Government documents)
  • Childs Birth Verification (Birth Certificate or Hospital Certificate)
  • Childs Immunization Record