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Head Start Program Eligibility Specialist

Posted: 11/15/2020

The Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) is seeking a qualified individual to serve as a Head Start Program Eligibility Specialist. This person will be responsible for supporting the recruitment and application process for eligible families and working with families to ensure full enrollment. 

About Us

MARC, the association of local governments and metropolitan planning organization for the bistate Kansas City region, promotes and supports cooperation on regional issues, including transportation, the environment, our workforce and economy, aging services, community development, quality early learning, public safety communications and emergency services. MARC has a collaborative work environment with a culture based on integrity, innovation, diversity and inclusion, excellence in performance and service leadership.

The Head Start and Early Head Start programs promote school readiness by enhancing the social and cognitive development of low-income children through a variety of services, including early childhood education, health an nutrition services and parental involvement. 

About the Position

This full time position will work as part of a team of Eligibility Specialists who, in collaboration with the ERSEA Manager, will support all aspects of the recruitment and application process to identify eligible families and ensure full enrollment for the Head Start and Early Head Start programs.  This position is responsible for assisting in the scheduling process and completing the Head Start/Early Head Start application process with all prospective families to assess eligibility and provide appropriate community resources or referrals as needed.  Eligibility Specialist will keep detailed, accurate records of each application using the ChildPlus data base system.

What you’ll do

  • Support the scheduling process for applications of prospective new families.
  • Support clients and/or collaborate with site staff as needed during the documentation gathering phase. This may include sharing a list of relevant items to bring and/or answering questions through multiple modes of communication prior to the application appointment.
  • Review all information provided by families prior to appointments.
  • Contact clients at minimum within one business day prior to confirm intake appointments, answer questions, and assist with changes in scheduling preferences.
  • Provide an individualized phone or face to face interview with clients. 
  • Treat clients with compassion, respect, and dignity to provide the highest customer service experience throughout the process.
  • Promote a consistent exchange of information in a professional manner while maintaining confidentiality during application appointments and phone calls.
  • Provide resources and referrals to prospective families as needed throughout the application process.
  • Maintain the highest attention to detail during the data entry and full completion of each application to ensure precise recordkeeping and reporting information in accordance to MARC Head Start policies & procedures.
  • Complete all MARC Head Start paperwork with the client during the application appointment to ensure a smooth transition to designated programming.
  • Use the information gathered to determine whether a family is eligible for Head Start or Early Head Start services and support the family in identifying which location best fits their needs. 
  • Make corrections as needed based on feedback provided by the Eligibility Specialist Lead/ERSEA Manager within required timelines. 
  • Attend and participate in MARC Head Start staff meetings and other internal collaborations.
  • Participate in program-wide community events and any required training provided by MARC.
  • Maintain a thorough knowledge and understanding of Head Start Performance Standards, the Head Start Act and related regulations regarding Eligibility.
  • Maintain up to date knowledge and awareness of all MARC Head Start program options and site-based details within Clay, Jackson and Platte counties to provide an overview for clients seeking assistance to locate the best fit for their specific needs.
  • Other related duties as needed.

About You

Skills you’ll need

  • Experience in Head Start
  • Excellent oral, written and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to deal with diverse constituencies and ability to work in a multi-cultural environment
  • Strong organizational skills, thoroughness and attention to detail, as evidenced through prior experience
  • Ability to set priorities and organize time efficiently
  • Ability to handle multiple demands
  • Experience working with computers, including hands-on experience with Microsoft Office applications

Basic requirements

  • A minimum of an associate degree is required 
  • The selected applicant will need to successfully pass a fingerprinting and background check, as well as a Family Care Safety Registry check  

Additional qualifications

Your resume will stand out if you have:
  • A Bachelor's degree in a human service field such as Early Childhood Education, Family Services, or Social Work is preferred.
  • Experience with the ChildPlus data based is strongly preferred. 

Salary and Benefits

Starting pay for this position is from $17.44 to $19.23 per hour, depending upon qualifications. MARC offers an attractive team-oriented work environment along with a competitive fringe benefit package.

How to Apply

To apply, complete our online application form and attach your cover letter and resume. For more information, visit 

MARC provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.

Job Type: Full Time

Salary Range: $30,000 - 49,999