The City of Oakland's Head Start program centers are currently opening in phases for classroom learning during the 2020-2021 school year, with additional COVID-19 safety protocol in place to protect Head Start staff and families. For those families who do not wish to return to the classroom, families will have the option of enrolling in distance learning classrooms throughout the school year. The City of Oakland Head Start program is following the latest guidelines provided by public health officials from the State of California and Alameda County to ensure safe operations.
Head Start COVID-19 Resources and Support
Head Start is committed to continuing to support our families through the COVID-19 pandemic. Find out about the resources we are offering during this time.
Centers Reopening with COVID-19 Safety Protocol
Access Food in Oakland
Oakland's Summer Food Service Program is offering safe and socially distanced food pick-up at over 20 locations throughout Oakland. All kids 18 and under and adults with disabilities enrolled in a school program can receive meals. Parents and guardians may pick up meals for multiple days without children present. There are no program requirements or paperwork to complete to benefit from the program.
Here is complete list of all food distribution in Oakland. Sites can also be found by using the “CA Meals for Kids” app for smartphones to locate a free food distribution site. As always, please call us at 510-238-3165 if you have any questions about how to access food this summer. We are here for you!
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.
Mental health is always an important concern, especially during the isolation of the pandemic. Here is an article about the how mindfulness can help during the pandemic. Here is a document with suggestions for how to support your child(ren) during COVID-19.
Free Testing for COVID-19
The City of Oakland has free COVID-19 testing sites located throughout Oakland. Anyone who lives or works in Alameda County can be tested for free at any of Oakland's testing sites. If you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 (dry cough, fever, shortness of breath, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, among others) or you think you may have been exposed, get tested. It protects not only you but also our most vulnerable community members, whose symptoms may be more severe. Visit oaklandca.gov/testing for more information.
Applying for Assistance
Our staff can help you fill out applications for Unemployment, CalFRESH (SNAP), WIC, CalWORKS, and Rental/Utility Assistance. Visit our Apply for Assistance resource page to find out more.
EBT cards can be used online for CalWorks/CalFresh at Walmart and Amazon. Delivery is available, although there are additional fees through Walmart. Delivery is free from Amazon if you order more than $35 of groceries. For more information visit: www.cdss.ca.gov/ebt-online.