What is Head Start?

Head Start is a comprehensive child development program which serves children age 3 to 5 and their families. It is a child-focused program that has the overall goal of increasing the school readiness of young children in low-income families.

The Head Start program is administered by the Head Start Bureau (HSB), the Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF), Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

The Head Start program has a long tradition of delivering comprehensive and high quality services designed to foster healthy development in low-income children. Head Start grantee and delegate agencies provide a range of individualized services in the areas of education and early childhood development; medical, dental, and mental health; nutrition; and parent involvement. In addition, the entire range of Head Start services is responsive and appropriate to each child’s and family’s developmental, ethnic, cultural, and linguistic heritage and experience.

All Head Start programs must adhere to Program Performance Standards which define the services that Head Start Programs are to provide to the children and families they serve. They constitute the expectations and requirements that Head Start grantees must meet. They are designed to ensure that the Head Start goals and objectives are implemented successfully, that the Head Start philosophy continues to thrive, and that all grantee and delegate agencies maintain the highest possible quality in the provision of Head Start services. To see the Head Start Program Performance Standards click here.

Related Links


  • HSB
  • ACYF
  • ACF
  • HHS
  • Head Start Centers

Eligibility Requirements

  • Federal Income Guidelines
  • AFS
Head Start at UMCHS

UMCHS is funded to serve 471 (338 Head Start 77 Oregon PreK and 56 Early Head Start) age and income eligible preschool children and their families. These children are served in 18 Centers and offer a variety of program models in order to meet family needs.

Eligibility Requirements

Children must be 3 or 4 years of age on or before September 1 of the program year.
The family must meet Federal Income Guidelines or be receiving TANF services through Adult and Family Services (AFS).


Funding for the Head Start program includes both Federal (Administration for Children and Families) and State (Oregon Department of Education) dollars.
In Oregon, Head Start is jointly funded by the federal Head Start Bureau and the Oregon Department of Education.

For more information on the Oregon Head Start Prekindergarden program visit the Oregon Department of Education’s Early Childhood Education Web Page.

What is Early Head Start?

Early Head Start (EHS) is a federally funded community-based program for low-income families with infants and toddlers and pregnant women. Its mission is simple: to promote healthy prenatal outcomes for pregnant women, enhance the development of very young children, and promote healthy family functioning. EHS evolved out of Head Start’s long history of providing services to infants and toddlers through Parent Child Centers, Comprehensive Child Development Centers (CCDPs) and Migrant Head Start programs. Recent advances in the field of infant development make this an especially exciting time to have Head Start formally expand its family to include the provision of Early Head Start services.

To help design the new initiative the Secretary of Health and Human Services formed an Advisory Committee on Services for Families with Infants and Toddlers in 1994. The committee set forth the vision and goals for Early Head Start that have been shaped by lessons learned from the Comprehensive Child Development Programs, Parent and Child Centers, Migrant Head Start Programs, locally designed Head Start programs, and other early child development and family support efforts serving families with very young children.

For more information about Early Head Start and serving Infants and Toddlers read the vision statement developed by the Early Head Start Advisory Committee and visit the Early Head Start National Resource Center Site and the Zero to Three Site

Related Links

Early Head Start at UMCHS

The Early Head Start program at UMCHS, Inc. has been in existence since 1998 when our Parent Child Centers were converted to Early Head Start. We currently serve 56 children six weeks to three years of age at four centers in Umatilla County. All of the centers are full day/full year. In the summer the program does provide a home base option for those families who are not working or going to school, but will continue in the Fall.

  • Here is a map of Early Head Start sites located in the Umatilla-Morrow County region.
  • Pendleton: The Early Head Start program is located at Pendleton High School,1800 NW Carden Avenue. The center serves 12 children with priority to teen families going to school or working.
  • Hermiston: The Early Head Start program is located at the Child Development Center, 605 S. 1st Place. This center serves 16 children, six weeks to three year and 20 children ages three and four year olds. Priority at this center is to teen families and families with siblings six weeks to 5 years who are working or going to school.
  • Umatilla: The Early Head Start program is located at the Pine Tree Center, 477 Pine Tree Avenue. This center serves 16 children, six weeks to three year and 20 children ages three and four year olds. Priority at this center is to families with siblings six weeks to 5 years who are working or going to school.
  • Boardman: Located at 240 NE Boardman Ave, Boardman Early Head Start is the newest addition to Umatilla Morrow Head Start and serves 8 children.

Early Head Start provides services through: Administration, Education, Health, Nutrition, Family Development, Parent Involvement, Child Care and Transportation areas which are managed by Program Directors. Each area includes key personnel who provide caring, professional support and information through personal interaction with families. Early Head Start cooperates intra-agency, as well as with community agencies and organizations to ensure that families receive the best possible services available to them.

Services Available for Disabled Children

There are many services available for disabled children from birth to five years of age. The following brochure is downloadable in Adobe Reader format and describes the various services available from surrounding area agencies, including Umatilla Morrow Head Start, Umatilla Morrow Education Service District, Confederate Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, and Oregon Child Development Coalition.

Download Brochure