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Early Head Start

​Early Head Start programs provide similar services as preschool Head Start programs, but they are tailored for the unique needs of infants and toddlers. Early Head Start programs promote the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development of infants and toddlers through safe and developmentally enriching caregiving. This prepares these children for continued growth and development and eventual success in school and life. ​

A national evaluation conducted by Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., and Columbia University's Center for Children and Families, in collaboration with the Early Head Start Research Consortium, found:

At the end of the program, 3-year-old Early Head Start (EHS) children performed significantly better on a range of cognitive, language, and social and emotional development measures than a randomly assigned control group.

Additionally, the parents of the 3-year-olds scored significantly higher than control group parents on many aspects of home environment, parenting behavior, and progress toward self-sufficiency.

All OOI Early Head Start classrooms are staffed with EHS Teachers who obtain their Child Development Associate credential within the first year of employment. 


The Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Project (EHSREP) began in 1996, at the time the Early Head Start program was created. It involved 3,001 children and families in 17 sites; half received EHS services and half were randomly assigned to a control group that did not receive EHS services. Parents and children were assessed when the children were 14 months, 24 months, 36 months old, in the spring prior to kindergarten entry, and again in the spring of the sixth year of formal schooling (fifth grade for most children).​For more information, visit:


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