Economic Security Corporation of Southwest Area

School Readiness Starts Here

What is Head Start?

Head Start is a Federal program for pre-K children ages 3 to 5.  To apply for Head Start children must be 3 years old for the current session or be 3 years old by July 31st for the next session which begins in August of each year.  Call us: at any of our site locations, where we can take an application.   

What is Early Head Start?

Early Head Start is a Federal program that provides comprehensive services to promote family and child development for prenatal moms and children birth - 3 years old.  To apply for Early Head Start you must be a pregnant woman or a have a child under 29 months of age. Applications can be taken in-person or by phone at any of our site locations, listed above.

  • Call:  1-833-718-0352, select 6
  • Email:  For a Head Start or Early Head Start
  • Call Any Site Location:  Speak with a staff person who will be able to help you with your application.
  • For Required Documentation: Take pictures of required documentation with your phone, then email them to the person you completed the application with over the phone; drop them by one of the site locations or use our drop box.
  • Lock Drop Box:  Joplin's Central office, 302 S. Joplin, Joplin, MO.  Please don't leave originals of your documents in the box.

What documentation is required for the application:

Head Start/Early Head Start:

  • Proof of the child’s birth; birth certificate, hospital record, or Medicaid card.

  • Proof of income for the previous calendar year; 1040-tax form, W-2 form(s), pay stub(s), unemployment, workman’s compensation, veteran’s benefits, alimony, child support, military pay, social security, or documentation of current public assistance, Temporary Assistance or Supplemental Security Income.  Income Guidelines for Head Start.

  • A current doctor’s immunization record.  (Child must be up-to-date on immunizations for the center-based program).

Did you know......  Head Start/Early Head Start serves children & families that are homeless?  See descriptions below to see if you qualify.

The term "homeless children and youth" means individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence; and includes:

(i) Children and youths who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; or are abandoned in hospitals.

(ii) Children and youths who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.

(iii) children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings.