What is Head Start & Oregon Pre-kindergarten ?
Head Start is a federal program that promotes school readiness of young children 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.
OPK is free to families from the period of prenatal to five years old and not yet eligible 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.
Providers and partners who receive funding from the state through an ELD contract or agreement are required to complete an equity training. Click here for more information.