Head Start programs in Oklahoma are administered locally by Community Action agencies, private nonprofit agencies,  American Indian Tribes, and a school district.

At the federal level, the Head Start Bureau is part of the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Ten regional regional offices oversee the grant administration of Head Start grantees.

Oklahoma is included in Region VI which is headquartered in Dallas. The grant administration of the 15 American Indian grantees is overseen by a separate branch of the ACF Head Start Bureau in Washington, DC.

State funds are provided to Community Action Agencies for Head Start programs by the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, Office of Community Development, which oversees the administration of those funds.

Head Start programs vary in structure according to the needs of the community in which they are located. Some are center-based in which the child attends Head Start with other children. Center-based programs may be half day or full day, and the number of days of attendance per week may vary, with periodic visits by Head Start staff to the Family’s home.

Another option is home-based Head Start. Children and families enrolled in home-based Head Start receive the full range of Head Start services. Some programs even combine home-based and center-based options.

Each Oklahoma Head Start program reflects the unique needs of the community it serves. However, all must conform to the Head Start Performance Standards  which govern program administration and the four core components of health, education, parent involvement and social services.

Every grantee must meet or exceed these standards as a condition of federal funding. All Head Start programs undergo thorough federal monitoring of all program requirements at least every three years and grantees must submit annual applications for refunding.

All Head Start centers in Oklahoma also must meet the Oklahoma Department of Human Services Licensing Requirements for Child Care Centers.

For more information about Oklahoma Head Start programs contact:
Oklahoma Association of Community Action Agencies
Head Start-State Collaboration Office
(405) 949-1495