45 CFR 1305.6 - Selection process.
(a) Each Head Start program must have a formal process for establishing selection criteria and for selecting children and families that considers all eligible applicants for Head Start services. The selection criteria must be based on those contained in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section.
(b) In selecting the children and families to be served, the Head Start program must consider the income of eligible families, the age of the child, the availability of kindergarten or first grade to the child, and the extent to which a child or family meets the criteria that each program is required to establish in § 1305.3(c)(6). Migrant programs must also give priority to children from families whose pursuit of agricultural work required them to relocate most frequently within the previous two-year period.
(c) At least 10 percent of the total number of enrollment opportunities in each grantee and each delegate agency during an enrollment year must be made available to children with disabilities who meet the definition for children with disabilities in § 1305.2(a). An exception to this requirement will be granted only if the responsible HHS official determines, based on such supporting evidence he or she may require, that the grantee made a reasonable effort to comply with this requirement but was unable to do so because there was an insufficient number of children with disabilities in the recruitment area who wished to attend the program and for whom the program was an appropriate placement based on their Individual Education Plans (IEP) or Individualized Family Service Plans (IFSP), with services provided directly by Head Start or Early Head Start in conjunction with other providers.
(d) Each Head Start program must develop at the beginning of each enrollment year and maintain during the year a waiting list that ranks children according to the program's selection criteria to assure that eligible children enter the program as vacancies occur.