Seattle Public Schools


Head Start

Head Start Preschool Program

Head Start Mission

Seattle Public Schools Head Start educates and supports young children and their families to enhance their potential for success as life-long learners!

The overall goal of Head Start is to improve students’ social competence and school readiness through commitments to a supportive learning environment for children and families. Head Start supports all aspects of a child’s development, including social, emotional, cognitive and physical growth. Head Start recognizes that children develop in the context of their family’s culture and language. We believe that fostering relationships with the community is important for families and children so that families are respected and their needs met.

Head Start Preschool Program Overview

Head Start is a FREE federally funded child development program for children and their families who qualify. The Head Start programs in Seattle Public Schools serve three-year and four-year-old children, offering full and part-day programs at various schools in the district. 

To find out about a program near you:

Our program services include:

  • A school readiness, literacy and math based early childhood education program
  • Individual Education Plans for every child 
  • Individualization for students with disabilities
  • Interpreter support for dual language learners
  • Family Support Services and Family Engagement
  • Door-to-door transportation
  • Breakfast, Lunch, and Snack are provided

Head Start Benefits

  • The curriculum and assessments are aligned with K-12 standards 
  • Transition to Kindergarten is effective because the child is familiar with the school environment 
  • Families and children become involved in the school that the child will attend
  • Preschool children can attend the same school as their siblings 
  • Families have access to other resources in the school and community
  • Classrooms are open Monday through Friday and follow the school year calendar
    • Full-day programs operate 6.5 hours each day
    • Part-day programs operate 3.5 hours each day

Enrolling in Head Start

Enrollment is open year-round. Submit an application for your child at any time to get on the waitlist for the next opening in a Head Start classroom.

For more information call 206-252-0960, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


Head Start programs are FREE and prioritize low-income families. Eligibility for Seattle Public Schools Head Start program is based on student’s age, address, and family income.

  • Age: Children must be 3 or 4 years old by August 31, the start of the school year.
  • Address: SPS Head Start serves families whose addresses are within the Seattle city limits and SPS enrollment boundaries. You will be asked to provide proof of your home address, unless you are experiencing homelessness.
  • Income: You will be asked to provide proof of your income for the past 12 months or previous tax year.

Application Process

Head Start will process your application and contact you regarding your eligibility for the program.

Available classroom slots fill quickly, so submit your application with all required information as soon as possible. Applications sent without the necessary documentation delays the processing procedures.

  1. Complete an application
  2. Attach the following documents to submit with your application:
    • Proof of your Child’s Birth Date (a copy of one of the following):
      • Birth Certificate,
      • Passport, or
      • Permanent Resident Card
    • Proof of your family income for the last calendar year or the most recent 12 months. You can use the following for income verification:
      • Income tax form for the past year
      • W-2 form for the past year
      • Employer letter stating total gross earnings
      • Award/Change Letter for TANF, SNAP, or SSI
      • Self declaration statements acceptable under certain conditions
    • Proof of your home address:
      • Billing Statements for: utilities, cable, telephone, etc.
      • Lease Agreement
      • DSHS documentation
  3. Submit your application and other documents to the main office of SPS Head Start at the John Stanford Center for Educational Excellence located at:
    • Address: 2445 3rd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98124
    • Mailing address: Mail Stop 31-555, PO Box 34165, Seattle, WA 98124

Policy Council

Head Start encourages family leadership and governance as part of our program. The Policy Council is a group of parent, guardian, and community representatives that review, advise, communicate, and approve recommendations about the Head Start program.

Policy Council members have responsibilities that include: approving or disapproving procedures for program planning, criteria for enrollment selection, grant proposals, budget approval, short and long term program goals. Training will be provided to all members.

Types of Members


Parents/Family of children currently enrolled in a Seattle Public Schools Head Start Program.

Policy Council members are elected by a majority vote at the first family meeting of the school year. One representative and one alternate are chosen from each site/classroom.

Local community members

Private individuals or representatives of organizations interested in improving educational opportunities, health, nutrition, and socioeconomic well-being of preschool children and their families.

Parents/Family members who have had a child in the Seattle Public Schools Head Start program for at least six months within the last three program years.

If you are interested in participating in the SPS Head Start Policy Council, please contact our program.