Head Start & OPK

  • 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 the 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, the 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. NCESD is proud to partner with Head Start to have these serviced available in Sherman and Wheeler Counties.
    For Head Start services in Gilliam County, please contact Umatilla Morrow Head Start.

    For more information about Head Start, visit the Head Start and the Oregon Head Start Association websites.


    NCESD Early Learning Staff

    Carrie Somnis
    OPK Director
    North Central ESD Early Education
    (541) 215-0974 Mobile

Parent's Forms