Programs

Early Head Start

head start

What is Early Head Start?

Early Head Start provides early, continuous, intensive, and comprehensive child development and family support services to low-income pregnant women, infants, toddlers and their families.

All Early Head Start programs serve families through a full day, full year program option that best meets the needs of their families. After conversations with families, this program provides options that can meet the needs of families. As infants and toddlers grow and change, and as family needs evolve, diverse program options can support them over time. This ensures that families can grow within a consistent, supportive setting. Program options for Early Head Start include the following:

  • Center-Based services provide early learning, care and enrichment experiences to children in an early care and education setting. Staff members also visit family homes at least twice per year.
  • Home-Based services are provided through weekly home visits to each enrolled child and family.  The home visitor provides child-focused visits that promote a parent’s ability to support their child’s development. Twice per month, the program offers opportunities for parents and children to come together as a group for learning, discussion, and social activity
  • Family Child Care services provide care and education to children in a private home or family-like setting.
  • Combination services combine both home- and center-based services.

Use the Head Start Locator to find a Early Head Start program near you. For more information, please visit the Early Head Start website

Program News

State Contact

Frequently Asked Questions

Is my child eligible for Head Start or Early Head Start?

Children from birth to age five from families with low income, according to the Poverty Guidelines published by the federal government, are eligible for Head Start and Early Head Start services.

Children in foster care, homeless children, and children from families receiving public assistance (TANF or SSI) are categorically eligible for Head Start and Early Head Start services regardless of income.

Pregnant women may also be eligible for Early Head Start.

Are children in foster care eligible for Head Start?

Children in foster care are Head Start eligible, regardless of family income.

Does Head Start accept children with disabilities or special needs?

The Head Start Act of 2007 requires 10 percent of the total number of children actually enrolled by each Head Start agency and each delegate agency to be children with disabilities who are determined to be eligible for special education and related services, or early intervention services.

What if my income level is higher than the Poverty Guidelines?

OPK programs may enroll up to 20% of children from families that have incomes above the Poverty Guidelines. Programs may also serve up to an additional 35% of children from families whose incomes are above the Poverty Guidelines, but below 130% of the poverty line if the program can ensure that certain conditions described in the Head Start Act have been met.

How do I find a Head Start or OPK program near me?

Use the Head Start Locator to find all Head Start locations. To search specifically for OPK programs, use the Program Locator [Add link when available] on the Early Learning Division website or call 211 for more information.

What are the other options if my child is ineligible for Head Start or OPK?

If you are ineligible for Head Start or OPK, you can call 211 and ask for help locating child care in your area.

Family Building Blocks

Early Head Start

2425 Lancaster Dr NE, Salem, OR, United States

503-566-2132