What is Head Start & Oregon Pre-kindergarten ?
Head Start is a federal program that promotes school readiness of children ages birth to five from low-income families by enhancing their cognitive, social and emotional development. Oregon modeled Oregon Pre-kindergarten (OPK) after Head Start to expand high-quality early learning opportunities for lowest income and highest need preschool children from three to five years.
OPK is free to families whose children are at least three years old, not old enough for kindergarten, and who meet income or other eligibility qualifications. Program services include:
- Preschool education and early childhood development
- Child health/mental health and nutrition
- Parent education and family support
In the classroom, they program provides a learning environment that supports children’s growth and development, which includes:
- Language and literacy
- Cognition and general knowledge
- Physical development and health
- Social and emotional development
- Approaches to learning
OPK emphasizes the role of parents as their child’s first and most important teacher and builds relationships with families to support:
- Family well-being and positive parent-child relationships
- Families as learners and lifelong educators
- Family engagement in transitions
- Family connections to peers and community
- Families as advocates and leaders
All services are designed to be responsive to each child and family’s ethnic, cultural, and linguistic heritage. We are proud to partner with Head Start to have these serviced available in all 36 counties in Oregon.