The CAPSLO Head Start and Early Head Start programs provides high quality, no-cost child care, early childhood education, and preschool services to low-income families in San Luis Obispo, Monterey, Kern, Fresno, San Joaquin, and Northern San Diego Counties.
The program serves families with children from birth through age five, with some additional services for pregnant women. CAPSLO has been providing Head Start programs continuously since 1966.

What is Head Start, Early Head Start & Migrant Seasonal Head Start?

Early Head Start programs serve infants and toddlers under the age of 3, as well as pregnant women. EHS programs provide intensive comprehensive child development and family support services to low-income infants and toddlers and their families, and to pregnant women and their families. Center-Based, Homebase, and FCC options are all available.

Head Start is a Federal program that promotes the school readiness of children from birth to age five from low-income families by enhancing their cognitive, social, and emotional development. Head Start programs provide a learning environment that supports children’s growth in many areas such as language, literacy, and social and emotional development. Head Start emphasizes the role of parents as their child’s first and most important teacher. These programs help build relationships with families that support family well-being and many other important areas. Center-Based, Homebase, and FCC options are all available.


Our Locations

San Luis Obispo County:
Five Cities
Los Osos
Paso Robles
San Luis Obispo

Kern and Fresno Counties:

Monterey County:
King City
San Lucas
San Ardo
Santa Lucia

San Joaquin County:
French Camp

San Diego County:
Borrego Springs

Find a Location Near You: Enter Zip Code

How to Apply

Click Here to Fill Out an Interest Form that will be sent to program staff.
You may also call 1-888-315-6741 or email to speak directly to an agency representative

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Eligibility Requirements?

Children from birth to age five from families with low income, according to the Poverty Guidelines published by the Federal government, are eligible for Head Start and Early
Head Start services.
Children in foster care, homeless children, and children from families receiving public assistance (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or Supplemental Security
Income) are categorically eligible for Head Start and Early Head Start services regardless of income.
Head Start programs may enroll up to 10 percent of children from families that have incomes above the Poverty Guidelines. Programs may also serve up to an additional 35 percent of children from families whose incomes are above the Poverty Guidelines, but below 130 percent of the poverty line if the program can ensure that certain
conditions have been met.
Pregnant women may also be eligible for additional Early Head Start services.

Are services continuing during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Yes! In order to follow social distancing guidelines, class sizes have been reduced and services are now also available through a ‘Distance Learning’ option. For more

What will my child learn?

CAPSLO has three educational goals for our infants, toddlers, and preschool-age children enrolled in Head Start, Early Head Start, and Migrant and Seasonal Head Start
1. Equip children with school readiness skills through quality early learning experiences.
2. Build the confidence and self-esteem necessary for children to succeed in their present environment.
3. To empower children for future challenges. 

Staff, parents, and community partners work in together to achieve these goals and assist children of all ages and abilities in meeting their potential.
The curricula used are child-centered and provides for all areas of development. Activities are individualized based on each child’s needs and interests, and promote
development in the areas of Language, Literacy, Mathematics, Social/Emotional Development, Science, Creative Arts, Approaches to Learning, and Physical Health and Well

How can parents get involved?

We believe that it is important that all families have opportunities to get involved with their child’s education from an early age. We want parents to feel comfortable being
involved in the Head Start programs so that they can feel comfortable advocating for their child’s education and wellbeing in any setting!
Family engagement opportunities include:
Classroom volunteering
Bi-annual Parent/Staff Conferences
Field trip chaperoning and participation
Parent education workshops and seminars
Monthly Center Parent Committee meetings
Monthly Program Policy Council meetings
Program Liaison/Representative to Community Action Partnership Board of Directors
Annual Program Self?Assessment
Personnel Interviews for new employees
County Level Health Services Advisory Committees
Family Engagement groups and/or workshops for:
Males/Fathers utilizing the Amor de Padre – Hombres que Cuentan / Love a Father – Men that Count curriculum.
Females/Mothers utilizing the Abriendo Puertas / Opening Doors curriculum.
Ask the staff at any of the CAPSLO Head Start Centers how parents and caregivers can get involved!
All parent volunteer hours are logged and contribute the community match (In Kind Match) required by the Office of Head Start.

What else does the program offer?

CAPSLO Head Start is more than just a daycare or preschool program. By providing services that strengthen the entire family and address the developmental needs and
health of the whole child, CAPSLO Head Start helps prepare children for success in school and in life.
In addition to quality early learning opportunities and high quality child care, children enrolled in Head Start will receive services that support their physical and emotional
health. Parents are provided with the support needed to be a lifelong advocate for their children’s health and wellbeing.

Health Services
Assisting families with finding their children a medical and dental “home” or primary care provider. Assisting with common barriers to accessing health services, including: transportation, translation, and costs. Assistance with staying up to date on immunizations, yearly physicals, dental screenings, TB tests, lead assessments, and nutrition assessments to ensure that children receive comprehensive, preventative health services. Health and Nutrition Specialists to assist children and staff in teaching good hygiene, healthy eating, and other behaviors and skills for lifelong health.

Mental Health Services
The CAPSLO Head Start Mental Health team is comprised of Behavior Specialists and a Mental Health Coordinators. In addition, each county has on contract a licensed Mental Health professional that visits the centers on a regular basis and is available to meet with the parents for family counseling.

Disability Services
Head Start makes special efforts to ensure that children with special needs are able to participate in all aspects of the program in an inclusive classroom or family child care
provider environment. At least 10% of enrollment is reserved for children who have been diagnosed with a disability. A technical assistance team of coordinators and specialists in the areas of disabilities, health, mental health, nutrition and education work together to support staff and parents in serving children with special needs.

We support families in the referral process when additional services may be needed.

Donate Now