• Learn

    Ready to Learn

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

  • Happy


    I am so HAPPY and Thankful for this Program.

  • 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.)

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. 

2014 Oregon Survey for Parents of Children & Youth with Special Health Care Needs

Posted in OHSA News

July 17, 2014

Dear parent,

I am writing to ask your help with a project being conducted for the Oregon Center for Children and Youth with Special Health Needs (OCCYSHN).

The Federal government requires OCCYSHN to conduct a needs assessment every 5 years. The purpose of the needs assessment is to

  • Identify the current needs of children and youth with special health care needs, and their families, and
  • Make sure that OCCYSHN and the State of Oregon uses this information to improve the systems that our youth and families use.

OCCYSHN is trying to make sure that we hear from families of youth (and youth themselves) with a wide range of special health needs and to make sure that we hear from families across the state.

Some information about the survey:

  • You can access the survey through the electronic links below. You also can contact us and we’ll mail you a paper version of the survey and a postage paid envelope for you to return it to us.
  • Your answers are anonymous and will be summarized with responses from other parents (OHSU Institutional Review Board No. 00010807).
  • This survey is voluntary. However, you can help us very much by sharing your experiences.
  • You also can help us by forwarding this message to other parents of children and youth with special health care needs.
  • Parents who complete the survey are eligible to enter a raffle for one of five $50 Visa gift cards.

If you have questions or comments about this survey, we would be happy to talk with you.

Our toll-free number is 1-877-307-7070, or you can email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or call (503-418-1475) Alison J. Martin, Ph.D., OCCYSHN’s Assessment & Evaluation Coordinator.

No one knows better than the youth and families themselves what is working and what is not. Thank you very much for helping us with this important work.

Marilyn Sue Hartzell, M.Ed., Director
Oregon Center for Children and Youth with Special Health Needs
Institute on Development & Disability
tel: 503-494-6961This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

P.S. You also can help us by forwarding asking young adults (ages 12 to 26 years) to complete our youth survey. We have printed and electronic versions of our youth surveys in English and Spanish. Hard copies of the surveys and postage-paid envelopes will be mailed to youth that request them. 

The youth survey links are:

Oregon Head Start PreKindergarten Expansion

Posted in Legislative Alerts

In the 2013-14 session, the Legislature approved a 2% increase in funding for Oregon PreKindergarten (OPK) programs across Oregon. Beginning July 1, 2014 the Early Learning Division distributed increased funding throughout the state OPK programs for an additional 390 children to be served. The competing programs were asked to show geographic need and program capacity in their competitive application process. All programs awarded expansion opportunities demonstrated strong partnerships with their existing or forming Early Learning Hubs in serving children and their families.

The following programs were awarded expansion opportunities:

  • Mt. Hood Community College Head Start – East Multnomah Co.
  • Umatilla-Morrow Head Start, Inc. – Pendleton, Hermiston
  • Southern Oregon Child & Family Council – Cave Junction
  • South Coast Head Start – North Bend
  • Clackamas County Children’s Commission – Milwaukie
  • Community Action Head Start, Marion & Polk – Salem
  • OCDC – Chilquin, Hillsboro, Woodburn
  • OSU Child Development Center – Corvallis
  • Klamath Family Head Start – Klamath Falls
  • Clackamas ESD Prekindergarten – West Linn
  • Head Start of Lane County – Springfield
  • NeighborImpact – East Bend
  • Salem-Keizer Prekindergarten Head Start – Fruitland
  • Head Start of  Yamhill County – McMinnville
  • Portland Public Schools Head Start – North Portland

A few examples of new services that will be provided in 2014-15 as a result:

  • Oregon Child Development Coalition (OCDC) has partnered with Klamath Tribes and Chiloquin School District to open two prekindergarten classrooms that will serve 40 Native American children. The school is providing the two classrooms to support this effort.
  • Portland Public Schools Head Start is working closely with the school district to reopen Clarendon School as an Early Childhood Center. The 12 OPK funded slots will be coupled with an additional 28 federal Head Start slots to reach more African American and Hispanic children and their families in a community hub-like approach.
  • Southern Oregon is expanding OPK into the Illinois Valley area, a remote and isolated part of Josephine County. The last mill closed this past year, causing deeper and sustained unemployment; Josephine County’s homelessness, poverty and at-risk children rates are among the highest in the state of Oregon. They will serve an additional 31 children.

Heatstroke Deaths Can Be Prevented

Posted in Action Alerts

It’s that time of year for some fun in the sun as summer heats up and families head outdoors or on vacation to look for fun ways to cool off.

But with these rising summer temperatures also comes a dangerous and potentially deadly situation for many of our children – from rising heatstroke deaths in hot motor vehicles.  In fact, such deaths are the leading cause of non-crash related fatalities for children 14 and younger. 

Most people don’t realize that a child’s body temperature can rise up to five times faster than an adult’s. Heatstroke begins when the core body temperature reaches around 104 degrees; death can follow in a child when that temperature reaches 107 degrees. 

Even with outdoor temperatures only in the 60s, the inside of a car can heat up to well above 110 degrees in just a matter of minutes.  But with summer upon us, and daytime temps in many areas across the country shooting into the 90s or higher, vehicles will heat up even faster. 

That makes it very important to know the risks and consequences associated with leaving kids in cars — especially hot cars -- because tragedies can and do happen.

In fact, from 1998-2013, 606 children across the nation died due to heatstroke from being left in a vehicle.  Just as tragic, over half (52 percent) of those kids were actually forgotten in the vehicle by a busy and distracted parent or caregiver.

 Take Action!

Dollar Per Child

Posted in OHSA News

We need your help to have $1 donated to the National Head Start Association for every child enrolled in Head Start/Early Head Start programs in Oregon. We ask you to donate a single dollar, of course more is welcome! You can donate online directly through the Dollar per Child donation page. If you chose to use this method, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">contact us so we can add your contribution to our thermometer. You can also donate through your local program or at OHSA conferences.