Head Start and Early Head Start

Children and Family Services

Head Start, Early Head Start, and State Pre-K

The Unity Council’s Head Start and Early Head Start programs operate at five sites located throughout Oakland, providing 608 low-income families with early childhood development services. Both of these programs provide individualized early learning experiences, comprehensive family services, and opportunities for family and community participation. Services are available beginning at pregnancy and continue through a child’s transition to preschool or kindergarten. You can see the details of how we are making our children and families “School Ready” by reading our School Readiness Report here.

Read our 2013 Early Head Start Annual Report here to see how many people we served and the impact of our work.

The Head Start, Pre-K, and Early Head Start Programs provide a relationship-based multilingual and multicultural curriculum designed to meet each child’s full potential. The parent involvement component provides extensive training and shared governance to prepare parents to advocate for their children, family and community as a whole. Comprehensive services are provided by content area specialists and through extensive connection to community resources. This inclusive model of service delivery and collaboration strengthens children, families and the communities in which they live. Program options include:

Home-based services include home visits and socialization experiences for pregnant mothers, newborns and preschoolers. These visits help to build a strong relationship between staff and families.
Half-day programs are available to the majority of children and their families. Head Start centers and Pre-K are open September through June, while Early Head Start program operates year round.

Full-day childcare is available at two Early Head Start locations for families with childcare subsidies and at Cal-SAFE, for parenting teens enrolled in the Cal-SAFE school located on site.
All programs offer educational and early childhood development services, health and nutrition education, advocacy, social services and assistance with community resources.

The programs are located at:

  • Fruitvale Head Start, 1900 Fruitvale Avenue, Suite 1C, Oakland, CA 94601
  • De Colores Head Start, Pre-K, and Early Head Start, 1155 35th Avenue, Oakland ,CA 94601
  • Thurgood Early Head Start, 1117 10th Street, Oakland, CA 94607
  • Foothill Square Early Head Start , 10700 MacArthur Boulevard, Oakland ,CA 94605
  • Cal-SAFE Teen Parent Early Head Start,2615 E 15th Street, Oakland, CA 94610

For enrollment, information and volunteer opportunities, please contact the Early Head Start Program at (510) 533-9926, or the Head Start and Pre-K Programs at (510) 535-6102. Cal-SAFE enrollment is managed through the county office of education at (510) 536-6086.

Developmental Playgroups

In collaboration with Children’s Hospital ,the Unity council provides weekly developmental playgroups to 32 families with toddlers and young preschoolers at the Fruitvale Head Start facility listed above. These services are open to the community and families do not have to be low income to participate. Playgroup offers child development and family support services.

For enrollment in Playgroup please contact the Playgroup Coordinator at (510) 535-6942