Early Childhood Education

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Promoting School Readiness for Howard County Residents

Head Start and PreK

Head Start and Pre-K provide free pre-school to eligible 3- to 5-year-old children. Programs provide family engagement services, speech & language therapy, mental health consulting, hearing & vision screening, nutritional counseling, and limited transportation.


Community Action Council of Howard County strives for excellence in all that we do. Our four Head Start Centers are accredited by the Maryland State Department of Education, National Association for the Education of Young Children, National Head Start Association and Maryland EXCELS.


ENROLLING 4-year old children today!

Are you looking for an excellent Pre-K program for your children?  If the answer is yes then look no further.  Community Action Council of Howard County Head Start (full day, 51-weeks) is recruiting 4-year old children for the 2016-2017 school years.  Head Start is a part of a national program administered by the Office of Head Start, Administration for Children and Families, Federal Department of Health and Human Services.  Head Start’s goal is to promote the school readiness of children by enhancing their cognitive, social/emotional development.  Pre-K Eligibility requirements are as follows:

  • Children must have been 4 by September 1, 2016
  • Families must meet the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines
  • Families must be residents of Howard County

Parents don’t wait another second, take action now!  For more information contact Howard County Head Start at 410-313-6443.  Education Application in ENGLISH and SPANISH.


Eligibility Requirements

Free Pre-School for income eligible families with children ages 3-5

  • Children must turn 4 by September 1, 2016 to be enrolled in Pre-K Classes
  • Children must be 3 to be enrolled in Head Start mixed classes.
  • If your child is currently 3 years old, you can apply now.
  • If your child is not currently 3 years old, COMPLETED applications will be accepted 30 days prior to the child’s birthday. If space is not available the child will be placed on the waiting list.
  • Foster children are automatically qualified. Children with disabilities and/or IEP are encouraged to apply.
  • Family Size 2016-2017 Income Guideline
    2 $16,240
    3 $20,420
    4 $24,600
    5 $28,780
    6 $32,960
    7 $37,140
    8 $41,320
    Each additional family member over 8, add $4,180

    How to Apply

    Accepting applications at our Gateway office located at 6751 Columbia Gateway Drive, 2nd floor, Columbia, MD 21046 Monday-Friday 8:30am-12pm then 1pm-4:30pm

    For application in English please click here.

    For application in Spanish please click here.

    What to Bring

    Completed Application (found above)

    Additional Required Documents (found below)

    • Child’s Proof of Age
      • Birth Certificate or
      • Baptismal record or
      • Passport
    • Income Verification (at least 1 of the below, as applicable)
      • TANF Notice
      • Pay Stubs (2 consecutive)
      • Prior year Income Tax Return
      • Prior year W-2 Form
      • Social Security Benefit Letter
      • Letter from Employer stating income
      • No income, please click here.
    • Proof of Residency in Howard County
      • Lease
      • Or, Utility Bill
      • Multi-family housing, please click here.
    • Copy of Legal Guardianship, if applicable
      (required for verification of foster care)
      • Medical Information
        • Child’s insurance card
        • Allergy Action Plan (if applicable) please click here.
        • Asthma Action Plan (if applicable) please click here.
        • Medication order form (if applicable) please click here.

      For more information, please call 410-313-6443.

      Current Parents

      Physical Forms click here.

      Dental Forms click here.

      Note: All physicals are due once a year and dental records are due every 6 months.
      Please return in your child’s backpack, mail or fax.
      Community Action Council
      c/o Head Start
      6751 Columbia Gateway Drive, #226
      Columbia, MD 21046
      Fax: 410-313-5717

      HEAD START CENTERS in Howard County, MD 

      Dasher Green Center

      6680 Cradlerock Way
      Columbia, Maryland 21045

      PHONE: (410) 313-6210

      FAX: (410) 313-6218


      Ellicott City Center

      8510 High Ridge Road
      Ellicott City, Maryland 21043

      PHONE: (410) 313-2750

      FAX: (410) 313-1910


      First Presbyterian Center

      9325 Presbyterian Lane
      Columbia, Maryland, 21045

      PHONE: 410-884-3500


      Old Cedar Lane Center

      5451 Beaverkill Road
      Columbia, Maryland, 21044

      PHONE: 410-313-7240