Community Action of South Mississippi (CASOMS) serves pregnant mothers and income-eligible children from birth to age five (5), as well as children with suspected or diagnosed disabilities. Head Start and Early Head Start programs in Jackson County offers early intervention in education, health, nutrition and socialization. CASOMS operates eight (8) centers in Jackson County and has three (3) classrooms in area public schools; centers are located in Moss Point, Gautier, Vancleave, Pascagoula, and Ocean Springs.
Head Start and Early Head Start utilize a comprehensive program with the help of parents and the community in three component areas: Early Childhood Development and Health Services, Family and Community Partnership, and Program Design and Management.
Ten percent of the enrollment must be children with disabilities, including children with severe disabilities. Parents of children with a diagnosed disability are encouraged to apply, even with income beyond the Poverty Guidelines. Priority is given to children with diagnosed disabilities, homeless families, foster care, children from households receiving SSI (Supplemental Security Income), TANF (including those receiving TANF transitional services), and income-eligible families.
Ten percent of the enrollment may be children from families whose income exceed the Income Poverty Guidelines. Department of Health and Human Service and the Administration for Children, Youth and Families fund the Head Start program.
Children participating in Head Start must be 3 years old by September 1 of the current school year for Head Start acceptance. If a slot is available, children may be accepted within the school year once they become 3 years of age. Mandatory eligibility requirements are proof of age (Birth Certificate) and proof of the family income for the previous 12 months.
Children participating in Early Head Start must be less than 36 months old AND be up-to-date on all required vaccinations.
- For Early Head Start a child must be an infant or a toddler younger than three years old.
- For Head Start a child must:
- Be at least three years old, or turn three years old by the date used to determine eligibility for public school in the community in which the Head Start program is located; and,
- Be no older than the age required to attend school.
- A pregnant woman or a child is eligible if:
- The family’s income is equal to or below the poverty line; or,
- The family is eligible for or, in the absence of child care, would be potentially eligible for public assistance; including TANF or,
- The child is homeless, as defined in the McKinney-Vento Act; or,
- The child is in foster care
To apply for enrollment, contact us at 228-769-3292.