The CAPSLO Early Education and Child Care Programs provide high quality, no-cost child care, early childhood education, and preschool services to income eligible families in San Joaquin, Monterey, Kern, Fresno, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Orange 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.
How to Apply
San Luis Obispo County:
San Luis Obispo
Kern and Fresno Counties:
San Joaquin County:
San Diego County:
What do Early Education and Child Care Programs 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.
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 Programs:
- Equip children with school readiness skills through quality early learning experiences.
- Build the confidence and self-esteem necessary for children to succeed in their present environment.
- To empower children for future challenges.
Staff, parents, and community partners work together to achieve these goals and assist children of all ages and abilities in meeting their potential. The curricula used are child-centered and provide 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 Being.
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.
EECC Programs 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.
Parent and Family Engagement
Parents, caregivers and family members are offered collaborative and strengths-based program services to support family well-being and to achieve family goals. We strive to partner in an inclusive and culturally responsive way. It’s a shared responsibility of families and staff at all levels that requires mutual respect for the roles and strengths each has to offer.
Children in child care centers receive three nutritious meals a day depending on each child’s schedule – breakfast, lunch and snack. CAPSLO child care centers have kitchens onsite giving children the opportunity to know their cooks. All meals are supplied for free with funding by the USDA.
Children in day care homes receive meals onsite through their provider with meal program management through the County child care resource and referral.
Programs That Make up CAPSLO’s Early Education and Child Care
- 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 met the needs of eligible families in the community.
- Pregnant women may also be eligible for additional Early Head Start services.
- Families whose primary income is from agricultural production or harvesting may be eligible for Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Programs.
Are services continuing during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Yes! All of our Head Start and Early Head Start programs continue to provide full, comprehensive services during the COVID-19 pandemic. With guidance from our health team and following the most current health and safety guidelines, our teaching staff work diligently to create and maintain safe and healthy learning environments for the children in their care. However, certain services such as parent-teacher conferences or parent meetings may occur virtually over secure virtual meeting platforms as we continue to navigate through pandemic conditions.
How can parents get involved?
We believe that it is important that all families have opportunities to engage and partner with their child’s education from an early age. We want parents to feel comfortable being active participants in our Early Education Child Care programs. Our goal is for families to feel comfortable advocating for their child’s education and wellbeing in any setting!
- Family engagement opportunities include:
- Classroom volunteering
- In-Kind Calendars
- Parent/Staff Conferences
- Field trip chaperoning and participation
- Parent education workshops and seminars
- Monthly Local Parent Committee meetings
- Monthly Program Policy Council meetings
- Annual Program Self Assessment
- Personnel Interviews
- Standing Committees
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.