§ 1305.4Age of children and family income eligibility.
(a) To be eligible for Head Start services, a child must be at least three years old by the date used to determine eligibility for public school in the community in which the Head Start program is located, except in cases where the Head Start program's approved grant provides specific authority to serve younger children. Examples of such exceptions are programs serving children of migrant families and Early Head Start programs.
(1) At least 90 percent of the children who are enrolled in each Head Start program must be from low-income families.
(2) Except as provided in paragraph (b)(3) of this section, up to ten percent of the children who are enrolled may be children from families that exceed the low-income guidelines but who meet the criteria that the program has established for selecting such children and who would benefit from Head Start services.
(3) A Head Start program operated by an Indian Tribe may enroll more than ten percent of its children from families whose incomes exceed the low-income guidelines when the following conditions are met:
(i) All children from Indian and non-Indian families living on the reservation that meet the low-income guidelines who wish to be enrolled in Head Start are served by the program;
(ii) All children from income-eligible Indian families native to the reservation living in non-reservation areas, approved as part of the Tribe's service area, who wish to be enrolled in Head Start are served by the program. In those instances in which the non-reservation area is not served by another Head Start program, the Tribe must serve all of the income-eligible Indian and non-Indian children whose families wish to enroll them in Head Start prior to serving over-income children.
(iii) The Tribe has the resources within its Head Start grant or from other non-Federal sources to enroll children from families whose incomes exceed the low-income guidelines without using additional funds from HHS intended to expand Head Start services; and
(iv) At least 51 percent of the children to be served by the program are from families that meet the income-eligibility guidelines.
(4) Programs which meet the conditions of paragraph (b)(3) of this section must annually set criteria that are approved by the Policy Council and the Tribal Council for selecting over-income children who would benefit from such a program.
(c) The family income must be verified by the Head Start program before determining that a child is eligible to participate in the program.
(d) Verification must include examination of any of the following: Individual Income Tax Form 1040, W-2 forms, pay stubs, pay envelopes, written statements from employers, or documentation showing current status as recipients of public assistance.
(e) A signed statement by an employee of the Head Start program, identifying which of these documents was examined and stating that the child is eligible to participate in the program, must be maintained to indicate that income verification has been made.
[57 FR 46725, Oct. 9, 1992, as amended at 63 FR 12658, Mar. 16, 1998]
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