Head Start & Early Head Start

Head Start and Early Head Start programs promote the school readiness of children from birth to age five from low-income families by enhancing their cognitive, social and emotional development. Head Start began in 1965 as a summer program for low-income children. Today Head Start and Early Head Start programs serve almost a million children nationwide.

Community Action Head Start and Early Head Start programs offer high-quality early childhood education to families with children between six weeks to five years of age, who live in our Washington County service area, and whose family income is within 130 percent of the current federal poverty guidelines. (Families with income less than 100 percent of the federal poverty level are prioritized.)

In addition to education, Head Start and Early Head Start programs provide comprehensive services to enrolled children and their families. These include health, nutrition, social and other services determined to be necessary by family needs assessments. We welcome children with special needs and children who are learning English. Head Start services are designed to be responsive to each child and family's ethnic, cultural and linguistic heritage.

  • Our FAQ page provides detailed information about child and family eligibility requirements, how to apply, learning objectives, school readiness goals, and more.


Program Options

Part-Day Pre-K Head Start
In this program option, children ages three to five attend class for three and a half hours per day, four days per week, in classrooms located in public schools in the Beaverton, Hillsboro, Tigard-Tualatin and Sherwood school districts and in our Hillsboro and Beaverton Child Development Centers. This high quality preschool program prepares children to succeed in kindergarten and beyond. Children eat nutritious, balanced meals and snacks every day. Teachers conduct two home visits and two Parent-Teacher Conferences throughout the year. Bus transportation is provided at some sites.

Full-Day Full-Year Head Start and Early Head Start
This program option provides full-day Head Start or Early Head Start services to children from infancy to age five whose parents are working and are eligible for Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) funds from the State of Oregon. This program option operates from 7:00 am - 5:30 pm, five days per week, year-round. Children receive full-day, developmentally appropriate education services in age-level classes. They also receive health screenings and eat healthy, balanced meals and snacks. Teachers conduct two home visits and two Parent-Teacher Conferences per year.

Full School Day / Full School Year Head Start

This program option serves children ages three to five in extended duration classrooms for a full school year. Children receive Head Start services in classes that meet for six hours per day, five days per week, for the duration of the school year. Like all Head Start and Early Head Start children, they receive a high quality preschool education along with healthy meals and snacks. Some classrooms have spaces for children from families with incomes between 100 and 200 percent of the federal poverty level for family size.

Early Head Start Home Visiting Program
The Early Head Start Home Visiting Program is a year-round program that provides weekly home visits to families. The purpose of the home visits is to promote secure parent-child relationships and help parents provide high-quality early learning experiences in
the home. Parents and children are provided with opportunities for group socialization time. Prenatal services are also offered to pregnant mothers-to-be enrolled in this program.

Parents in the Home Visiting Program are invited to attend Parent-Teacher Nights and to serve on Policy Council.

Coffee Creek Program
This innovative locally designed program option serves eight children up to age five whose mothers are incarcerated at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility. Through a partnership with Oregon Department of Corrections and in cooperation with the children's caregivers, teachers help incarcerated mothers bond with their children, learn parenting skills and prepare for parenting after they are released from prison. Children attend class twice per week with their incarcerated mothers. Coffee Creek program participants are also represented at Policy Council.


Policy Council

Policy Council is an elected group of Head Start and Early Head Start parents who share the responsibility of program governance with the Board of Directors and Community Action staff. Policy Council meetings take place from October to June on the third Tuesday of each month from 5:30 - 8:30 at the Hillsboro Multi-Service Center.