Congratulations on taking the first step to apply to AEL! We offer a high-quality education program for children ages newborn to 5-years-old. We'll help your child develop reading, writing and behavioral skills that will prepare them for kindergarten and school success. We'll also partner with you to help you achieve your parenting, education and career goals. Arkansas Early Learning operates Head Start and Early Head Start programs in ten counties within Arkansas. As a grantee of federal funds we must serve those in order of greatest need. The enrollment questionnaire assists us in making an eligibility determination for your family.
There are two primary types of eligibility for Head Start/Early Head Start: categorical eligibility and income eligibility.
Categorical Eligibility: A child from age zero to age five is categorically eligible for Head Start/Early Head Start if the child/family is homeless or in foster care.
Income Eligibility: A child from age zero to age five is income eligible for Head Start/Early Head Start if the family income is determined to be below the income figures published annually by the federal government as the Poverty Guidelines. Families receiving public assistance (TANF or SSI) are also income eligible for Head Start/Early Head Start. TANF funded programs in Arkansas include TEA, Work Pays, Career Pathways, and Community Investment Initiative programs. In addition to the two primary kinds of eligibility, we may enroll up to 10% of children from families that have incomes above the Poverty Guidelines. Under certain conditions, we may also serve up to an additional 35% of children from families whose incomes are above the Poverty Guidelines.
Our enrollment application is now online. Please complete this online questionnaire so we can gather information about your child and family to check qualification for enrollment into our program. The process for applying for enrollment is:
1. Click below or come by one of our locations to complete the online Enrollment Application. AEL has a kiosk available at each location for your convenience.
2. Scan, take a picture with your phone, fax, or bring in all documents needed to make an eligibility determination. It is important you provide all of the requested information in a timely manner as slots fill quickly. AEL maintains an active waitlist for services.
3. Once you complete the application, you will be scheduled for an interview appointment time to bring any remaining required materials and finalize your application.
4. An AEL Family Services staff member will follow up with you regarding the status of your eligibility. We look forward to partnering with you on building a successful future for your child and family!