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Apply for Head Start openings now

Parents interested in enrolling their preschool children in the Pre-kindergarten and Head Start Program are welcome to apply this week.

About 1,000 openings are available at 27 sites in the county for the program, which prepares needy children for kindergarten.

"I think it's really important for children if they're eligible for this," said Maria Crosby, director of pre-kindergarten services for the Pasco County School District.

"We provide comprehensive services, which include some medical and dental care, screenings, support for the families in accessing services in the community," she said. "And we have a curriculum and a program in the classrooms that will help children be ready for school."

Because the program is designed to serve the neediest students, applications go through a selection process. Families must meet low-income guidelines and children must be 4 years old on or before Sept. 1.

Necessary documentation includes: birth certificate; proof of income (Year 2000 1040 tax form, W-2 form, four weekly pay stubs or letter from employer or TANF/WAGES verification); child's Medicaid card (or proof of application) or other insurance; and the child's Social Security card.

Applications will be accepted at these sites:

Southeast Pasco: 8:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Alice Hall Community Center, 38116 Fifth Ave, Zephyrhills.

East Pasco: 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Pre-K Services/Cottage, 37351 Florida Ave., Dade City.

Central Pasco: 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Pre-K District Office, 7227 Land O'Lakes Blvd., Land O'Lakes.

Northwest Pasco: 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Veterans Memorial Park, 14333 Hicks Road, Hudson.

West Pasco: Student Services West, 5130 Trouble Creek Road, New Port Richey.

For more information call: (352) 794-2730 in east Pasco, (813) 794-2730 in central Pasco or (727) 774-2730 in west Pasco.

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