NeighborImpact expands Head Start, Early Head Start programs

Central Oregon– Thanks to a recent award of state funding, NeighborImpact is launching a major expansion of its Head Start program for the 2020-21 school year. NeighborImpact’s total slots will increase 43 percent from 445 to 638 children.

Head Start is a center based program that integrates high-quality pre-kindergarten education with other critical services to ensure that children are socially, emotionally and educationally ready to enter Kindergarten. It also ensures that children receive medical, dental and vision screenings, allowing early detection and prevention of health issues that might otherwise become long-term challenges. The program serves children 3-5 years of age and their families.

Family well-being is integral in both programs. Parents and families are supported in achieving their own goals, such as housing stability, continued education, and financial security. Programs support and strengthen parent-child relationships and engage families around children’s learning and development.

Early Head Start is a home based program that provides families with similar support for children ages 0-3 and pregnant women. The program offers weekly home visits by child development professionals who help families identify and reach developmental milestones through education, engagement and monthly socialization sessions.

The programs’ expansion will include 97 new part-day Head Start slots, 76 full-day Head Start slots and 20 new Early Head Start slots. NeighborImpact will add two additional Head Start classrooms in Bend and Redmond, as well as one each in Prineville and La Pine. Previously only available in Redmond, Early Head Start will now offer 20 slots to families who reside in Bend.

“This expansion is a critical investment in the future of Central Oregon,” said NeighborImpact Executive Director, Scott Cooper. “Head Start helps improve family stability by engaging not just the child but the entire family in a two-generation approach to poverty reduction.”

While programs are prepared to switch to virtual delivery as necessary, NeighborImpact currently plans to open classes on schedule in the fall with social distancing and expanded hygiene measures in place.

“Childcare capacity was already a challenge, pre-COVID,” said Cooper. “While Head Start is primarily an educational program it also has a childcare component and the injection of new capacity could not come at a better time to help stabilize the region’s economy.”

NeighborImpact will hire over 30 new staff to support the expanded service.

To learn more about Head Start and Early Head Start, or to apply for one of the programs, please visit, or call 541-323-6543.

To view employment opportunities or submit an employment application, please visit

As an essential business providing essential services to disadvantaged individuals in Central Oregon, NeighborImpact will continue to serve all three counties and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. Those needing assistance may access services via telephone and online or in person in Bend, Redmond and Madras. 

For updates on NeighborImpact’s response to COVID-19, visit:     

About NeighborImpact: NeighborImpact is a private non-profit governed by a board of directors drawn from across the community.  Since 1985, NeighborImpact has led the region in developing solutions and bringing resources to Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson counties and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. We help meet the basic needs of Central Oregonians, build economic security and create a community where everyone thrives. NeighborImpact receives federal, state and local grants, foundation grants and donations from individuals and businesses in our community. To learn more about NeighborImpact please visit