Head Start

“Head Start has truly made a difference for my family.  Head Start gave me a place to bring my daughter where I knew she was happy, safe and would have food that was good for her every day.  I am so grateful to have been a part of the Head Start Program.” -previous Head Start Parent

Apply Online Aplique En Linea


Problem Statement: In Sonoma County, many families encounter barriers to high quality early care and education due to inability to pay the cost of child care and preschool. CAP Sonoma Head Start is committed to providing no cost, high quality, culturally diverse, school readiness programs and comprehensive services to low income children and families in our community.

Goal of the Program: To serve children (ages prenatal-5) in community center-based programs throughout Sonoma County who meet Federal Income Guidelines for eligibility.

Primary Activities:

  • Nutritious meals and snacks served daily
  • Individualized school readiness curriculum and assessment
  • Preventative health and dental wellness support
  • Nutrition and mental health services
  • Family literacy programs
  • Facilitated referrals to community services and resources
  • Parent education and leadership opportunities
  • Family outreach workers provide individualized support
  • Full inclusion of children with diagnosed disabilities

Outcome Highlights:

  • CAP Sonoma Head Start has served children and families in Sonoma County for the last fifty years
  • over 400 children and families served annually
  • 10% of funded enrollment reserved for children with special needs

Contact Information:

  • (707) 544-6911
    Office Hours: M-F 9:00-5:00


  • Head Start
  • Early Head Start
  • Eligibility
  • How to Apply

Tab 1

Our Head Start program is funded to serve 453 children ages ranging from 3 to 5 years old. We operate 13 centers throughout Sonoma County 4 days per week, 10 months per year. We offer 25 part-day morning or afternoon center based classes.

Our goal is to build a strong foundation for school readiness by recognizing each child’s individual strengths and needs as we provide opportunities for each child to grow physically, socially, emotionally, and intellectually. We have chosen a research based curriculum to facilitate the comprehensive integrated program that we provide. We use the Creative Curriculum for Preschool.

The cornerstone of our Head Start Family Literacy program is Raising a Reader; a program that sends book bags home to families in an ongoing rotation throughout the year. To learn more about the Raising a Reader program click here.

Tab 2

Our Early Head Start program is funded to serve 32 children including pregnant women/infants/toddlers from prenatal to 3 years old. We operate 3 centers in Santa Rosa 5 days per week, 12 months per year. We offer 4 full-day center-based classes. We use the Creative Curriculum for Infants, Toddlers and Twos along with The Program for Infant / Toddler Care.

Nueva Vista Infant Program – Prenatal – 18 Months
Early Head Start partners with the Santa Rosa City School District and to provide priority for full-day services to the children of Ridgeway High School students completing their high school education and Nurse-Family Partnership to provide services to pregnant women and their children. This program is by referral only.

Toddler Program – 18 Months – 3 Years Old
Our Early Head Start toddler program provides a safe, age appropriate, classroom setting that allows children to be creative as they learn through their daily experiences.

Tab 3

Eligibility in Head Start / Early Head Start is determined by the child’s Age and the Family Income / Situation.


  • Head Start Program- Children must turn 3 or 4 years old on or before September 2nd, or 5 years old if the birth date is between September 2nd 2012-December 31st 2012, of the school year you are applying for.
  • Early Head Start Toddler Program – Children must be at least 18 months old.

Family Income / Situation

  • Family income must be at or below the Federal Poverty Guidelines: Click here for the 2017 Poverty Guidelines.
  • Family receives public assistance (TANF or Supplemental Social Security Income).
  • The child is in Foster Care.
  • The family is homeless according to the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.

If your family does not meet our eligibility criteria click here for a link to the Community Child Care Council (also called 4C’s). You may be eligible for one of the state programs.

Tab 4

Getting your child into Head Start / Early Head Start is a process that starts with an application. Applications are accepted all year long, however, applications received between March 1st and May 31st are screened for first selection.

All applications are subject to verification of the information provided. All enrollment requirements must be completed before placement can be made. Priority attendance areas exist and are given preference.

Please be advised that we typically receive more applications than there are spaces available so, not all applications will result in children being placed in a classroom due to many variable factors.

Ways to apply:

Online Apply Online Aplique En Linea
By calling our application line (707) 535-3386
In person at our main office.

The program actively works with community volunteers as well! If you would like more information about becoming a Head Start / Early Head Start volunteer, please call (707) 544-6911.