The Oregon Head Start Prekindergarten Program was established by the Oregon Legislature in 1987 to extend comprehensive Head Start preschool services to more eligible children and families. The OHSPk is directed by law to implement the same Performance Standards as the Federal Head Start program.

The OSU Child Development Center entered into an agreement with of the Oregon Department of Education to provide services to Head Start eligible children and families as a step towards diversifying the enrollment of children in the laboratory preschool program, and to serve as a model for the state in providing an inclusive and collaborative Community and Oregon Head Start Prekindergarten Program within a laboratory preschool setting.

Children enrolled through the OHSPk participate with children enrolled from the community-at-large in the developmental model preschool program where they are served nutritious meals and provided opportunities for social, emotional, and intellectual growth that helps prepare them for success in school and life. Community enrolled children pay tuition for their participation while the preschool services to OHSPk children and families are provided at no charge.

OHSPk provides developmental and health screenings and connects children to a source of health care. In addition, parents receive home visits and guidance to access educational and support services that assist them to reach their goals for self-sufficiency.