Free to eligible families. Upbring Head Start Preschool is free to eligible families. We welcome children ages infant to five years old, including children with special needs, in an inclusive setting. And every child receives nutritious, daily snacks each day!

Family advocate. Upbring assigns your family an advocate who will answer your questions, help with next steps and make sure we deliver the support you need.

Individual learning plans. Every child is unique, so our supportive staff creates individual learning plans for each student.

Family support services. We can connect your family with job placement resources, parenting skills training, medical, dental and mental health services and other support that would benefit your family. We also help you explore transportation options if necessary.

For more information. Check out our campus locations. 

Head Start Eligibility

Upbring Head Start is a program for low-income families to help children be ready for school. We use a criteria selection system along with categorically eligible factors to determine acceptance into the program.

To apply for Upbring Head Start Preschool:

  • you must live within the county of where the services are being provided
  • your child must be age 3 or 4, this age must be reached by September 1 of the current school year for ISD partnered enrollment
  • consideration for age eligible children entering mid-year are welcomed
  • your family must meet specific income guidelines OR qualify under one of the following categories listed below

To apply for Upbring Early Head Start Preschool:

  • you must live within the county of where the services are being provided
  • your child must be 6-week-old by September 1 of the current school year
  • consideration for age eligible children entering mid-year are welcomed
  • your family must meet specific income or qualify under one of the following categories listed below

Categorically Eligible

The following are categorically eligible criteria:

  • is living in foster care and/or kinship placement
  • is living in a family that receives an ongoing cash assistance Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) grant
  • is living in a household with a family member who is supported by the income of parents or guardians who received Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • lacks a regular fixed adequate nighttime residence and meets the definition of homeless children or unaccompanied youth in the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act

Income Eligibility

Income eligibility is based on 12 months of income (either the 12 months prior to application or the last calendar year). Your child may be eligible for Upbring Head Start if your family’s gross annual income does not exceed 100 percent of the federal poverty guidelines for family size.  Income we must consider is gross cash income, and it includes earned income, military income (including pay and allowances), veterans’ benefits, Social Security benefits, unemployment compensation and public assistance benefits. It also includes child support and any cash income from a vocational or college award.

Head Start reserves 10 percent of available slots for children with disabilities who qualify for Early Childhood Special Education.

These are general eligibility guidelines for your reference. Please email [email protected] to learn more.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Upbring?

Upbring has a rich legacy of serving children, families and communities in Texas through a strong network of programs and service focused on reducing recidivism in child abuse and improving long-term outcomes for all children. More than 135 years ago, Upbring sprouted as an organization dedicated to caring for and believing in all children who were otherwise on their own. While the agency has evolved throughout more than a century of service, its dedication to creating a better world for children, families and communities remains strong and firm.

Upbring was designated by the federal government in July 2015 to provide childhood development programs in four Southeast Texas centers – Wharton, El Campo, Palacios and Bay City.

How do I register my child?

Our staff will be pleased to help you complete the Upbring Head Start or Early Head Start application. Early Head Start is open to children infants to age 2, and Head Start is open to children ages 3-5.

An application is required, along with other documentation. Please call 979-219-0228 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

What do you charge for your services?

Services are provided at no cost to eligible children three to four years old and their families.

Where do you get your funding?

Upbring Head Start is funded by the Office of Head Start through the Administration for Children and Families, as well as private donors and foundations.

How is Upbring Head Start Preschool different from other preschools?

Our program builds on the strengths and resources of the communities we serve. Our goal is to ensure families have the means to obtain education, health insurance, services for children with disabilities, adequate housing, job training and more.

In addition, parents are expected to participate on administrative policy committees and in their children’s education.

What services are provided for the children?

The following list is a sample of the services we provide to enrolled children’s families:

  • Integration of family engagement in their child?s education
  • Parent participation in the classroom
  • Parent activities that promote child learning and development
  • Identification of family strengths and needs and individualized family partnership services
  • Parent engagement in program oversight
What services are provided for the parents and/or families of enrolled children?

The following list is a sample of the services provided to enrolled children:

  • Individualized educational experiences
  • Medical, dental and mental health services
  • Speech, language and hearing screenings with additional follow-up, where necessary
  • Nutritious meals and snacks
  • Field trips
How do I apply to work for Upbring?

See our career opportunities and complete an online application here.

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Head Start Application