• Learn

    Ready to Learn

    Oregon students and families rely on Head Start programs to ensure that our kids arrive in kindergarten ready to learn.

  • Boy

    Head Start Helps

    The Head Start Program was the kick start I needed in my life. (Robert H.)

  • Future

    Oregon's Future

    Healthy, educated children: the best thing you can do for Oregon right now! and in the future.  (Kathleen J.)
  • Happy


    I am so HAPPY and Thankful for this Program.

Applying for Head Start, Early Head Start, or OPK Services

Posted in OHSA News

The Oregon Head Start Association does not directly provide early childhood education services, however our member programs do. If you are not sure which program is in your area, please use the Head Start Locator. A directory of Oregon Prekindergarten (OPK) programs can be found on the Oregon Department of Education website. Head Start and OPK programs follow the same standards, the difference is one is federally funded and the other is state funded.

Please directly contact your local program to get an application. 

Taxpayer Refunds Keep Preschoolers Safe

Posted in OHSA News

Oregon Head Start Association awards $13,009.44 for Playground Safety Improvements

PRLog - Dec. 15, 2014 - The Oregon Head Start Association is proud to announce the recipients of this years Charitable Checkoff Grants. Oregon taxpayers donated $13,009.44 through their 2013 taxes to the Oregon Head Start Association. Head Start funding guidelines restrict the use of federal funds for facility and playground development. Charitable checkoff donations make these upgrades possible.

Head Start of Yamhill County has been awarded $6,607.52 to make vital safety improvements to their outdoor play areas at the Michael Eichman Center. Safety and security in the outdoor areas became an issue after the Yamhill County Transit Center was placed across the street. Playground inspections occur multiple times daily and have uncovered drug paraphernalia, adult human feces, and the destruction of property. The grant funding will be used to improve the outdoor environment, including installing an unscalable fence.

Umatilla Morrow Head Start has been awarded $6,401.92 for safety improvements in the outdoor environment at their Punkin Center, formerly an alternative high school. Projects include renovating a former skateboard bath into a bike path developmentally appropriate for preschool children, installing a fence to insure children do not enter the septic drain field, and installing a sunshade.

2015 Scholarship Applications

Posted in Scholarships

2015 scholarship materials for OHSA scholarships are now available. Each year OHSA awards four $2,000 scholarships. Please review the Rules and Selection Criteria, for guidelines and helpful tips. 

Programs need to complete a single State Confirmation Form for the applications they are submitting from their program. Graduating high school students do not need to complete this form, or turn in their applications to a program. High School students may send their applications directly to OHSA.

Preliminary winners of Early Head Start- Child Care Partnerships Announced

Posted in OHSA News

Three programs in Oregon have been selected to receive $3.2 million as part of $435 million in federal funding to help offer Early Head Start services to infants and toddlers. Recipients include Umatilla Morrow Head Start in Hermiston, Mt Hood Community College in Portland, and Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency, Inc. in Salem.

This new grant funding will allow children and families to be served in a variety of settings, that best meet their needs including family child care homes, child care centers, and Early Head Start centers in both urban and rural communities.

“Research shows the first three years are critical for brain development, and Early Head Start provides high-quality early care and learning opportunities for our most vulnerable young children,” said ACF Acting Assistant Secretary Mark Greenberg. “These grants will help support working families by providing a full-day, full-year program for young children.”

“The experiences of young children create the foundation for future learning and success. I’m thrilled to see these three communities receive grants to expand access to Early Head Start and support collaboration with child care providers,” said Megan Irwin, Acting Early Learning System Director for Oregon. “This investment in the experiences of young children will pay dividends for these children, their families, and their communities.”   

Head Start in Oregon is funded through both state and federal grants. In FY2013, Oregon received $66,619,228 to provide Head Start services to more than 12,000 children, families, and pregnant women.

More recipients will be announced by early spring bringing another $2.5 million in federal funding to the state.

50 Years of Head Start 20 Years of OHSA

Posted in OHSA News

We are excited to be celebrating the 50th anniversary of Head Start. Along with this milestone is the 20th anniversary of the Oregon Head Start Association. Throughout the year we will be celebrating the anniversaries!

February 2015 

Join us for the Capitol Advocacy Day on the 5th as part of our Winter Conference

The week of February 23, we want Head Start teachers, staff and parents across the country to take a photo of what makes your program unique and share it on social media with your Governor and State Legislators! You can find your Governor’s social media usernames here, and don’t forget to tag @NatlHeadStart, @ORHeadStart, and #HeadStart50!

January 2015 

On January 6, 2015, the 114th Congress of the United States will take an oath of office and officially become your next Members of Congress! On the day that your new Members are sworn in, NHSA encourages all Head Start children, teachers and staff to take a moment in their classrooms to:

  • Recite the pledge of allegiance;
  • Take a video or photos; and
  • Send the photos/video to NHSA to share with your Members of Congress!

Keep your eyes open for more information and a media release to share with your local paper! If you are interested in getting a quote from your Member of Congress for your release, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.