Early Head Start

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

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.

Support for Children with Disabilities in Early Head Start

UMCHS Early Head Start program works with Early Intervention (EI/ESCE) Early Childhood Special Education programs to serve eligible infants and toddlers with developmental delays or medical diagnoses. If your baby qualifies for EI, you will work with a team to develop an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). This plan will contain the services your child and family will receive and the goals and strategies that will be used to help your baby grow and develop. Areas of Development you may have concerns about include: vision, speech, hearing  (especially if frequent ear infections occur)  playing, cognitive development and physical development. 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

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