Early Head Start is an early child development no cost program that serves families with infants and toddlers, and pregnant women through both home-based and center-based options.  Early Head Start recognizes parents/guardians as their children’s primary teachers and implements intentional strategies to engage parents in their children’s learning and development and support parent-child relationships, including specific strategies for father engagement.

We collaborate with families in a family partnership process that identifies needs, interests, strengths, goals, and services and resources that support family well-being, including family safety, health, and economic stability.

Pregnant women receive prenatal education and support, assistance in accessing prenatal care, breastfeeding support, and all other program services.

Home-Based Services

  • Families receive one 90 minutes home visit per week from out Family Child Educators who is trained in the research-based Parents as Teachers curriculum.
  • Parents participate in learning activities designed to enhance their child’s learning and receive information and support on parenting issues, as well as resource and referral information.
  • Families and expecting families have an opportunity to attend Socialization with other children and families twice per month.
  • Home visits are available in Spanish and English.
  • Regular attendance is expected.

Center-Based Services

  • Children attend class 2 times per week for about 3 ½ hours.
  • Combo teachers and staff provide a nurturing, stimulating and individualized learning environment.
  • Combo Teachers meet individually with parents twice a month for 90 minutes to provide information, resources and support.
  • Regular attendance is expected.
  • Transportation is provided at all locations.Socializations Socializations are a time for all families in the program to get together and enjoy playing with your children in a group setting. Developmentally appropriate activities are provided for children zero through three.Why should you come to group socializations?
  • Come and play with your child
  • Get to know the other parents in the program.
  • Get a nutritious meal.
  • See and share with others all the wonderful things your child is learning.
  • Increase your knowledge in the area of child development.
  • Come and explore an environment that is set up with your child in mind.
  • Get great ideas from other parents.
  • Build a wonderful relationship with your child.

-Please see Eligibility tab



Eligibility for programs is based on income and/or risk factors. In 2018, a family of four can qualify for Head Start/Early Head Start if their income is below 100% FPL of $25,100. ECEAP’s income eligibility is 110% of FPL. Rural Home Visiting target income population is 185% FPL. The philosophy of the administration, Policy Council, and the Board of Directors is to reach out to children and families with the greatest need to give them priority for services. An important way this is achieved is by the agency conducting an assessment of the community. OCCDA uses the assessment as a tool for programs and the community to assess the needs of low-income children and their families, identify strategies and programs to help families break the cycle of poverty, ensure the health and academic success of their children, and provide families with the greatest opportunity for self-reliance. 

With multiple programs and program requirements, eligibility can seem confusing. And, OCCDA strongly encourages all interested families to apply for services. Our enrollment staff will determine eligibility and can answer any questions you have.