History of the Oregon Head Start Association

Although Head Start has existed in Oregon for over 50 years, the history of the Oregon Head Start Association (OHSA) officially starts around 20 years ago. The Oregon Head Start Association became an official Oregon business on November 28, 1994. On April 23, 1996, we became registered with the Oregon Department of Justice under the Charitable Trust and Corporations Act. On July 1, 1996, we were notified by the IRS that we were approved as a 501(c)(3) organization.

Business Meeting Minutes 2015-16

Board Meeting Minutes 2015-16

A Brief History of Head Start in Oregon

In 1987, Oregon Legislature enacted Senate Bill 524 directing the implementation of the OREGON PREKINDERGARTEN PROGRAM (OPK) based on the Head Start model. This Legislation allows 20 percent of the children to come from families not in poverty and requires that at least ten percent of the children served have identified disabilities.

OREGON HEAD START PREKINDERGARTEN PROGRAMS are free to families whose children are three to four years of old and meet income or other eligibility qualifications. Program services include health, education, parent involvement, mental health, social services, nutrition, and other services for children and families.

Also in 1987, the Oregon Legislature funded a pilot of TOGETHER FOR CHILDREN – a parent education program supporting parenting efforts and thereby increasing children’s success in school and later life. Program services are provided to parents with at-risk children, birth to age 8, and may include: home visitations, peer support groups, health care and parent education.

EARLY HEAD START started in Oregon in 1994 and follows the same performance standards as Head Start, but is aimed at families with children prenatal to age 3.

FULL DAY/FULL YEAR started in 1997 and was a priority for Head Start expansion funding responding to the work needs of Head Start families and the newly enacted Welfare Reform Act. Special priority and a competitive advantage was given to applicants to create more full day, full year Head Start services through blended funding or partnerships.