Parents who have yet to enroll their children in preschool can still apply to Head Start schools around Santa Monica, West Los Angeles and parts of South Los Angeles for this academic year.

Preschools around Hyde Park, Palms, Del Rey, Inglewood, Mar Vista, Santa Monica and Windsor Hills still have open slots for the 2011-12 school year, according to the Los Angeles County Office of Education.

The federally funded Head Start program, which offers free schooling for children ages 3-4, focuses on kids who are disabled, living in foster homes, are homeless or in temporary housing, or have teen parents or parents on probation.

These preschools offer early childhood education, along with meals and health and dental assessments and a focus on parent involvement. Half-day and full-day programs are both available, and for families with disabled and homeless children, special services are provided as well.

Applications are on a first-come, first-served basis. Eligibility is determined by annual income level, up to 130 percent of the federal poverty level. To enroll, contact the Los Angeles County Office of Education at (877) 773-5543.

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