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.  In response to the COVID-19 outbreak/risk we will by taking applications over the phone ONLY.  Call us at any our site locations.   


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 will be taken 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 take your application over the phone.
  • 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; 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.

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