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Head Start COVID-19 Resources and Support

Head Start is committed to continuing to support our families while Head Start centers are closed by distributing food, diapers, and educational materials to families. Reach out to your Family Advocate, Center Director, or Home-Based Visitor, or call 510-238-3165 to connect with us and find out more about the resources and services we are offering during this time.

(510) 238-3165
City of Oakland Head Start
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Educational Activities at Home, May 2020
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Read Along with Michelle Obama

Centers Closed Through End of School Year

The City of Oakland's Head Start program centers will remain closed through the end of the school year. This decision was made in line with the coordinated efforts of public health officials to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Distributing Food, Diapers, and Educational Materials

While our centers are closed, we are distributing food, diapers, and educational materials to Head Start families. Please contact your Family Advocate, Center Director, or Home-Based Visitor, or call 510-238-3165, if your child is enrolled in Head Start and you are not already receiving information about our weekly distributions.

We are distributing supplies by family— if you have multiple children in Head Start programs please pick up only one time per week so we can provide food and supplies to all families.

Tuesdays at Downtown Oakland Senior Center
200 Grand Avenue, Oakland, CA 94610

  • 2:00 - 2:30 Broadway, Frank G. Mar, Sungate
  • 2:30 - 3:00 Laney, San Antonio Park
  • 3:00 - 3:30 St. Vincent, West Grand, Home-Base (Janna, Sharon, Sandra)
  • 3:30 - 4:00 San Antonio CDC, Franklin

Wednesdays at East Oakland Senior Center
9255 Edes Avenue, Oakland, CA 94603

  • 2:00 - 2:30 85th Ave, Arroyo Viejo, Brookfield Manzanita
  • 2:30 - 3:00 Brookfield OUSD, Home-Base (Joey, Mei, Sheila, Treesy)
  • 3:00 - 3:30 Tassafaronga, Lion Creek (EHS/HS), Fannie Wall

On Wednesdays, we can also deliver food, diapers, and educational supplies to families as-needed. Please contact your Family Advocate, Center Director, or Home-Based Visitor, or call 510-238-3165, for more information.

Health and Safety

Immunizations: While COVID-19 is a health emergency in our area, it is important that your children remain up to date on the immunizations they need to be healthy. The vaccination schedule is designed to help your children get the maximum benefit from each shot. Your child will need to be up to date on their vaccines to re-enter the classroom when we open for the 2020-2021 program year. If you have difficulty getting your children the vaccines they need, we are here to help.

  • Stay at home. Staying at home and leaving only for essential business, essential work, and physical activity help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from others when you go out, even if you are wearing a mask.
  • Wear a mask. With guidance from the CDC, Alameda County Public Health Department now requires that you wear a cloth mask in public, especially where it is difficult to maintain a six-foot distance between yourself and others. Children under 2 do not need to wear a mask. Infants and children under 2 years old are at risk of suffocation and should not wear a mask at any time.
  • Wash your hands. Hand washing reduces your risk of COVID-19 and other illnesses, which continue to make people sick. If you cannot wash your hands, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Cover your cough and sneeze. Cover your cough or sneeze with your elbow. Dispose of tissues in the trash immediately after use.
  • Isolate when you are sick. Stay at home when you have symptoms you can spread to others. If you believe you may have COVID-19, isolate from other family members.

If you have questions, please contact us at (510) 238-3165. You can also find updates on the Alameda County Public Health Department website and the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

Testing for COVID-19

The City of Oakland is strongly encouraging residents who work outside of the home or are worried they might have COVID-19 to get tested. The coronavirus is highly contagious and spreads easily between people. Its severity varies, mostly dependent on age and pre-existing medical conditions. Getting tested not only protects you but also protects your community, specifically those who may be more at-risk of developing serious symptoms from COVID-19.

The City of Oakland recently expanded free walk-up testing for COVID-19 in East Oakland. Free testing is available on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 AM to 4 PM at the Roots Community Health Center, at 9925 International Boulevard. Health insurance and immigrant documentation are not required. If you are not already a patient of Roots, follow this link to make an appointment. Existing Roots patients do not require an appointment for COVID-19 testing, but can register in advance here.

Contact your doctor or pediatrician if you suspect you have COVID-19. Your provider will review your symptoms and connect you to testing. If you do not have a doctor or pediatrician, you can get tested at the Roots Community Health Center (described above), or here is a list of testing sites from Alameda County Public Health Department: If you have difficulty finding care, please contact your Family Advocate or Home Based visitor for help.

Applying for Food Assistance and Unemployment Benefits

Our staff can help you fill out applications for Unemployment, CalFRESH (SNAP), WIC, CalWORKS, and Rental/Utility Assistance. For more information, check out the links below, and please reach out with any questions-- we are here for you!

  • Unemployment Insurance, through the State of California. You can apply for Unemployment Insurance if you are recently unemployed and are ready and able to go back to work. Due to COVID-19, you are not required to look for work each week to receive benefits.
  • Apply for CalFRESH, helping low-income families in California access healthy and nutritious food. CalFresh is the California-specific program of the national Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
  • Visit the California Department of Public Health's program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). To qualify for WIC, you must meet specific income guidelines and be pregnant, breastfeeding, or have a baby or child 0 - 5 years old. Babies and children cared for by their fathers, foster parents, or other guardians can also receive WIC benefits. WIC is a nation-wide program that provides resources for about half of all infants born in the United States-- learn more here!
  • CalWorks offers monthly assistance to families with children lacking parental support because of unemployment, disability, absence or death of a parent. CalWorks also supports caretaker relatives of foster children.
  • On March 27th, 2020, the Oakland City Council voted to prohibit residential evictions, rent increases, and late fees through May 31st, 2020, working to support Oakland residents through the economic uncertainty caused by COVID-19. Visit Eden I&R to find resources specific to Alameda County for housing, rent, and utility assistance.