I knew that Leya turning three meant it would be time for school soon. My heart just sank because she’s been ready for this pretty much since she turned two, while I on the other hand have been kinda’ dreading it.
I know that these are important steps in life, but it’s just so hard to accept that your kid is growing ya’ know? I just wish time would stand still for a bit because every time I blink it seems like she’s a year older.
I must say that this entire head start process was not easy. It actually was a slight nightmare. I didn’t know where to go, who to talk to, what to say? To be completely fair though, things would have perhaps been a lot smoother if I wasn’t such a procrastinator.
Because this process was a bit of a hot mess for me, I would like to share with you 3 things that will hopefully help you be a little more prepared than I was, and go through this as smoothly as possible. 🙂
1) Don’t procrastinate. I know that sounds a bit obvious and silly, but seriously try your best not to. I always say, “oh I’ll do it tomorrow” or “I still have time,” but why put something off for tomorrow that you can do today? If I seriously would’ve done it right then when I was thinking about it, I wouldn’t have been rushing or felt so pressured. Oh and also, this is not a super incredibly fast process which leads me to tip #2.
2) Get informed. I went to a few different head starts and all told me different things- that overwhelmed and confused me. The Neighborhood House Association aka Head Start is a low-income program, so low income families have the priority. I know what you’re thinking… how do you know if you qualify? I’m a single parent so I automatically thought I would be considered “low income” but nope, I’m sure not. In order to be considered low income you have to make around $15K a year. Who the heck makes that?! Some places I went said I didn’t have a chance, some said I would have to pay, some said to ignore that and just try. So, that’s exactly what I did. I just went for it. Here’s exactly what I did:
- I called this number 619.284.5644. Which is a location by my house (University Ave, if you live in the San Diego area)
- That location only does part-time, so they referred me to another location on Home Ave (San Diego area) that does full-time, since that’s what I was looking for. That number is 619.527.8569.
- I called them and they asked if I could come in and bring some documents to do the application. Those docs are: W2, her birth certificate, and proof of residency.
- As we started the application they did tell me that I was way over the low-income limit and they may not accept my child. If I decided to move forward I would need to get certified since I was over the low income limit. If I was approved then my child could start. (They will provide you with all the documents that you need to fill out and bring to the location you’ll need to go get certified)
- Once at the location to get certified (I went to a location on 41st Ave) you will need to bring the initial documents (mentioned innate first bullet) and there you will fill other additional paperwork. They will explain in detail exactly what you’re filling out.
- Once you’re done there, the Head Start location you filled out the application to (in my case Home Ave) should call you within 2 days.
3) Be persistent. This one might also seem silly but, in all seriousness, don’t give up! Once you have all the information and have completed all the steps, don’t wait for them to call you because they might not. That happened to me the first time around for “pre head start.” I was lucky to find the location on Home Ave because the ladies there are so nice, helpful, and I could tell they genuinely wanted to do all they could to get Leya enrolled. If you really want your child to start a learning process early, then head start is the place to be. Don’t let them confuse you or tell you it can be done. Call around, hound them, ask questions, tell them to clarify if something doesn’t make sense, they’re in that position to help you! Just remember, they can’t help unless you’re proactive about it.😉
If you guys need help or have questions, please feel free to reach out!
XO, Guadalupe ♥