Maui Economic Opportunity’s Head Start, which offers preschool at no cost to qualifying families

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January 19, 2024

Maui Economic Opportunity’s Head Start, which offers preschool at no cost to qualifying families, will begin accepting applications Thursday, Feb. 1, for the 2024-2025 school year, which begins in August.

Head Start is a federally funded program that provides comprehensive early childhood education services to families that meet federal poverty income guidelines and selection criteria.

To enroll, children must be 3 years old by July 31, 2024. As part of the application process, parents or legal guardians need to provide the child’s birth certificate and income verification, preferably 2023 income tax returns or 2023 W-2 forms. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) documents also may be needed from applicants receiving these services.

MEO Head Start offers services on Maui and Moloka‘i. Sites include:

  • Haiku – located next to Haiku Elementary School.
  • Kahului – located within Luana Gardens.
  • Kihei – located on campus at Kihei Elementary School.
  • Lahaina – located next to Princess Nahienaena Elementary School.
  • Makawao – located below the Eddie Tam Memorial Center.
  • Wailuku B – located on campus at Wailuku Elementary School.
  • Wailuku A – located within Ka Hale A Ke Ola Homeless Resource Center.
  • UHMC – located on campus at the University of Hawai‘i Maui College.
  • Kaunakakai – located at the MEO Moloka‘i Branch.

The Lahaina center, which was closed after the August wildfires, experienced minor damage and is expected to reopen later this month, following extensive health and safety testing, repairs and renovations.

MEO Head Start is funded to serve a total of 180 children with 20 keiki per classroom.

After Feb. 1, applications may be completed online at (go to the “Quick Links” section).

For more information, contact the MEO Head Start office at (808) 249-2988. Office hours are 7:15 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday, except on federal and state holidays.

*About Maui Economic Opportunity*
Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc., is a nonprofit agency that’s part of the national Community Action Partnership network, whose goal is to help low income individuals and families and disenfranchised people help themselves and transform their lives. Chartered in 1965, MEO offers more than 40 programs that assist low income people, kupuna, youths, persons with disabilities, immigrants and other disenfranchised individuals countywide. MEO runs the Human Services specialized transportation program for health and dialysis appointments, after-school and youth sports activities and more; and the Maui Bus paratransit system; Head Start preschools and Kahi Kamali‘i Infant Care Center; as well as programs that offer kupuna socialization and information; rent, mortgage and utility assistance; Spanish interpretation and translation; entrepreneurial and financial classes and support, including microloans; inmate reintegration into the community after release; youth drinking, drug, smoking, bullying and suicide prevention; and employment training and placement. For more information about the entire array of programs, visit or call (808) 249-2990.

MEO Head Start Makawao center enjoyed the experience of “hands-on” pumpkin carving on Halloween 2023. Lead Teacher Jennifer McGurn supported the carving process while the keiki assisted with cleaning out the pumpkins. MEO Head Start will begin accepting applications for the 2024-25 school year on Feb. 1.

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