• FAQ

  • How do I apply for LCPS Head Start/STEP?

    • If you are a new applicant, please complete the ONLINE APPLICATION.
    • If you do not have access to the internet, please call the office to apply.
    • If you are a current or former Head Start/STEP parent, please call the office to begin an application for another child:
      • Head Start Office: (571) 252-2110
      • STEP Office: (571) 252-2118

  • I am a current or former LCPS Head Start/STEP parent or I have applied in the past. How do I apply for another child?

    Please call our office to begin an application for another child:

    • Head Start: (571) 252-2110.
    • STEP: (571) 252-2118

  • Is there an income limit to qualify for LCPS Head Start/STEP?

    • The LCPS Head Start program follows the Federal Poverty Guidelines to determine the income limit to qualify. These guidelines change annually and are posted on our website: www.lcps.org/headstart.
    • The STEP program has a higher income limit than Head Start. Families may earn up to twice the amount listed in the Federal Poverty Guidelines. The income limits for the school year are posted on our website.
      • If your family’s income is higher than these guidelines but your child has a current Individualized Education Plan (IEP), please proceed with an application. Your child may qualify for STEP.

  • What is the age requirement for LCPS Head Start/STEP?

    • STEP: Applicants must be 4 years-old by September 30th of that school year to participate in the STEP preschool program.
    • Head Start: The LCPS Head Start program can serve students who are 3 years-old by September 30th in some areas of Loudoun County. LCPS Head Start has one classroom dedicated to 3 year-old students at Sugarland Elementary School for families who live in certain areas of Sterling, VA. This does not include areas in the 20166 zip code which are in the boundary of Arcola, Aldie or any of the South Riding or Brambelton schools. For all other LCPS Head Start classrooms, students who are 4 years-old by September 30th are given priority to participate. Generally, students who are 3 years-old by September 30th, and live in Western Loudoun, can be considered for participation in the Woodgrove High School Head Start classroom due to having fewer 4 year-old applicants. If you live in the attendance boundaries for Banneker, Emerick, Hamilton, Lincoln, Lovettesville, Lucketts, Mountain View, Round Hill, or Waterford, you may apply for your 3 year-old child.

  • My child is 3 years-old. Can he/she participate in LCPS Head Start or STEP?

    • STEP: Applicants must be 4 years-old by September 30th of that school year to participate in the STEP preschool program.
    • Head Start: The LCPS Head Start program can serve students who are 3 years-old by September 30th in some areas of Loudoun County. LCPS Head Start has one classroom dedicated to 3 year-old students at Sugarland Elementary School for families who live in certain areas of Sterling, VA. This does not include areas in the 20166 zip code which are in the boundary of Arcola, Aldie or any of the South Riding or Brambelton schools. For all other LCPS Head Start classrooms, students who are 4 years-old by September 30th are given priority to participate. Generally, students who are 3 years-old by September 30th, and live in Western Loudoun, can be considered for participation in the Woodgrove High School Head Start classroom due to having fewer 4 year-old applicants. If you live in the attendance boundaries for Banneker, Emerick, Hamilton, Lincoln, Lovettesville, Lucketts, Mountain View, Round Hill, or Waterford, you may apply for your 3 year-old child.

  • Do I have to live in Loudoun County to apply?

  • What is the difference between LCPS Head Start and STEP?

    Head Start:

    • LCPS Head Start provides preschool services for 100 students in Loudoun County. Head Start is a federally funded preschool program for low income families who have a child who will be 4 years-old by September 30th, or, a child in the Sterling area who will be 3 years-old by September 30th of the school year.
    • The Head Start program is free to Loudoun County residents who qualify by age and income.
    • Four of the six classes are held for 4 hours in the morning and two classes are held for 6.5 hours. All classes are in session Monday through Friday.
    • Children are bussed to and from school or daycare (in the same boundary as home), and receive breakfast and lunch while at school.
    • Classes have 17-20 students with a teacher and a teacher assistant (except one 3-year-old class, which has 15 students).
    • Head Start is a family program and we encourage parents to volunteer in the classroom and to attend monthly Family Connection meetings held at the school.
    • Head Start has two Family Service Professionals and a nurse who help families with mental health, employment, parenting, health insurance, and other family issues.

    STEP:

    • Starting Towards Excellence in Preschool (STEP) is a state and locally funded program that serves children who are 4 years-old by September 30th. The STEP program provides preschool services for 300 students in Loudoun County. 
    • The STEP program is free to Loudoun County residents who qualify by age and income.
    • STEP is a 3-hour program with sessions in the morning or afternoon and are held Monday through Friday. 
    • Classes have a maximum of 16 students with a teacher and a teacher assistant.
    • Children are bussed to and from school or daycare (in the same boundary as home), and receive breakfast or lunch while at school.
    • Criteria for enrollment include residing in a family with income levels within guidelines for free or reduced price lunch or having an identified disability

  • What school will my child attend?

    The LCPS Head Start and STEP programs do not follow the same attendance boundaries as Loudoun County Public Schools. Head Start and STEP are hosted by some elementary schools and high schools throughout Loudoun County and may change locations each year depending on classroom availability. A Head Start or STEP staff member will inform enrolling students as to which school they will be attending.

  • Can I pay to participate in either program if my income is higher than the requirements?

    • No. Your family must meet the income requirements to participate.
    • A Head Start or STEP staff member can provide you with a list of community preschools if your income is above the guidelines.

  • What are other preschool options for my child?

    Please note that this community-based (private) preschools will not be open for enrollment or attendance this Fall 2020 since LCPS is operating in the 100% distance learning environment. The conditions-based decision to open (or not) in Spring 2021 will be made at the Cabinet level.

Last Modified on July 31, 2020