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. 



Eligibility Requirements

HEAD START & PreK serves low-income Howard County families with children 3 to 5 years old and follows federal income guidelines to determine eligibility. Children in foster care are eligible regardless of the family income.

  • Children must turn 4 by September 1 or
  • Children must turn 3 by September 1.
  • Foster children are automatically qualified.
  • Children with disabilities and/or IEP are encouraged to apply.
Family Size 2016-2017 Income Guideline
2 $16,020
3 $20,160
4 $24,300
5 $28,440
6 $32,580
Each additional family member add $4,160

How to Apply

For application in English please click here.

Por favor haga clic aqui para la aplicación en español.

What to Bring

Required Documents

  • 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 (in application packet).

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

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 Lane
Columbia, Maryland, 21044

PHONE: 410-750-8172