Most frequent questions and answers.

A comprehensive early childhood program for preschool children, infants and toddlers and their families.

Low-income families with children under Kindergarten age (birth to five). Also eligible are foster children, families who are homeless and families receiving SSI or TANF. 

Head Start can serve children ages 8 weeks through 4 years. A child’s 5th birthday must be after August 15th of the current school year. 

To begin the enrollment process during the school year, a parent or legal guardian can come to any of our centers to fill out an application. During the summer please come to the main office at 2400 Piedmont Street, Knoxville, TN. In order for the application to be considered complete, we will need a copy of the child’s up to date shot record on the Tennessee state form and an up to date physical, along with proof of all income for a year.

The following documents are needed to complete the child’s enrollment application:

  • Shot Record
  • Physical Exam
  • If guardian, copy of custody papers
  • If foster child, copy of foster care contract
  • If a parent has restricted visitation, copy of court papers
  • Documentation of all types of income received since January 2018 by all related adults in the home (Examples: Wages, TANF, Social Security, SSI, Retirement, VA benefits, Support Payments, College Payments, etc.)

Head Start (Preschool Ages 3-5)

Part Day – Children attend the center for 4 hours in either the morning or afternoon, Monday through Thursday and usually one Friday each month. Hours of service are typically 7:45-11:45 a.m. or 12 p.m.-4 p.m. Transportation is provided.

Full Day – A child care certificate must be obtained by the parent for the child to be eligible for full day services. Full day is provided at the North Ridge Crossing center. Care is provided for children between the hours of 7 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Classes are open Monday-Friday, but closed one Friday per month for staff training and most Knox County Schools’ holidays/breaks. No transportation is provided.

Kindergarten Enrichment Class (KEC) – Children must be 4 years old by 8/15/19. Preference is given to children who have previously been enrolled in Head Start. The KEC class operates from 7:45 a.m. – 3 p.m. Classes are open Monday through Thursday and one Friday each month. Transportation is available on a limited basis in the afternoon for this option.

Extended Day – this option is provided at the Anderson-South Head Start Center and is available for preschoolers of any age. Most children enrolled in the Extended Day option will be self-transports.  Limited transportation will be available.  Hours will be approximately 7:45 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and designated Fridays.

Early Head Start (Ages 8 weeks – 3 years)

Part Day  – Children attend the center in the morning between the hours of 7:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m., Monday through Thursday and  one Friday each month. No transportation is provided.

Home Base – A home visitor visits the home once per week for 1.5 hours and brings materials, information and guidance to the parent to support the child’s learning. The parent and child also attend the center for a play group twice each month for 2-3 hours. Transportation is provided for the family to attend the center play group, if needed.

Extended Day – this option is provided at the Anderson-South Head Start Center and is available for all children. All children enrolled in the Extended Day option will be self-transports. No transportation will be available. Hours will be approximately 7:45 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and designated Fridays.

Full Day – See Full Day information listed above.

Only full-day and home-based program options are offered. There is no part-day care offered during the summer. 

If you have turned in a complete application, with shot records, current up to date physical examination and income, we send all this information to the main office. The applications take some time to process once all the necessary items are received. If you have not heard anything after 2 weeks of turning in the application, please call the Head Start office @ 865-522-2193 and ask to speak with an Enrollment Specialist.  

No! Our teachers will be happy to work with you to help your child become potty trained when he/she is ready. Head Start will work with you to provide diapers or pull-ups for your child during Head Start hours.

Yes. All children that ride on a Head Start bus are required to sit in a car seat that Head Start provides. In addition, we have cameras on all of our buses. 

Yes. As a federally funded program, we are required to verify income. We can verify all of the previous calendar years or back one year from the day you sign the application.

Head Start offers a full day program from 7:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. for children who have childcare certificates (also called vouchers, Families First, transitional, or Smart Steps). Additionally, our entire South Knoxville Anderson Center and our Kindergarten Enrichment Clasrooms (KEC) at all centers are extended day options from 7:45-3:00. The rest of our classes are part day, either 7:45-11:45 or 12:00-4:00.

The first step to enrollment is to fill out an application. In order for the application to be considered complete, we must have verified income and a complete shot record and physical. This process can take a couple of weeks.

We are required to verify income on any blood relative that lives in the home IF they are claimed by you on your income tax return.

Yes. Your child’s teacher and family specialist will do home visits throughout the school year. We will also ask you to come in during the school year for parent conferences.