Families Receiving CalFresh Benefits Eligible for Head Start

Change streamlines access to high-quality preschool and other services for children from birth to age five and their families

Families in San Joaquin County receiving CalFresh nutrition benefits are now automatically eligible for Head Start and Early Head Start programs, dramatically improving access to high-quality early childhood education and other services to children aged 0 to 5 and their families.


The CalFresh Program is the state version of the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). In April, the federal Office of Head Start announced that families receiving SNAP benefits would also meet Head Start eligibility requirements.


"This makes it so much easier for some of our most vulnerable families in San Joaquin County to provide their young children with early learning, health screening, and other services that will prepare them for kindergarten and position them for future success," said Leticia Sida, director of Head Start San Joaquin, which is the San Joaquin County Office of Education (SJCOE) department receiving a federal grant to provide Head Start and Early Head Start services through a network of service providers. "With openings in programs across the county available now, this news comes at the perfect time for families seeking the educational and family-support services that will give their child an advantage later in life."


Head Start San Joaquin's center-based and home-based services are provided through the Child Abuse Prevention Council of San Joaquin County, Creative Child Care, Inc., and Lodi and Stockton unified school districts.


For more information or to apply year-round for Head Start preschool and other Head Start programs, call (209) 468-4933 or visit


For more information about CalFresh and how to apply in San Joaquin County, visit

Posted: 6/1/2022