Head Start (Early Childhood Unit)

Head Start

Mission Statement :

The mission of the Early Childhood Unit is to bring about a greater degree of social competence in children who may be disadvantaged.

The ECU’s approach is based on the philosophy that a child can benefit most from a comprehensive, interdisciplinary program to foster development and remedy problems through the involvement of the child’s entire family as well as the community.


Cherokee Nation Early Childhood Unit offers two options: Head Start, a classroom environment promoting early childhood development stages; and Early Head Start, serving children aged 6 weeks to three years old.

Head Start serves children ages three to five at centers in these areas:

Brushy; Hulbert; Inola; Kenwood; Stilwell; Pryor; Rocky Mountain; Salina; Shady Grove; Tahlequah; Webbers Falls; Zion

Early Head Start serves children ages 6 weeks to 3 years at centers in these areas:
Tahlequah, Cherry Tree, Jay, Pryor, Stilwell, Salina & Nowata.

Tribal and Federal Funds for FY17:


$629,724 from the Tribal Council Head Start Act.

$31,109 from the Motor Vehicle Tax


$7,560,749   DHHS Head Start Grant;

$43,626 DOI Self-Governance funds

Total Tribal Funds FY 2017: $659,833

Total Federal Funds FY 2017: $7,894,375

Program Information Report - 2015-2016 

Funded Enrollment: Head Start 680, Early Head Start 200
Average Monthly enrollment: 95%-100%
Families Served by: Head Start, 709; Early Head Start, 218
Head Start: 56% of children served are income or categorically eligible.

Early Head Start: 73% of children served are income or categorically eligible.
Head Start: 92% of children received medical screenings.
Early Head Start: 90% of children received medical screenings.
Head Start dental screenings: 96% of children received exam.

Head Start
Early Head Start
Income Eligibility Grid 2016/2017
Family Size Income
1 $11,880
2 $16,020
3 $20,160
4 $24,300
5 $28,440
6 $32,580
7 $36,730
8 $40,890
For each additional family member
add $4,160 to the amount shown above

Eligibility Requirements

CDIB (Federally recognized tribes)
Within 14 county Jurisdictional area
Income Guidelines

Additional Requirements

Social Security Card of child and parent

Age Verification Record: Birth Card, Birth Certificate

Immunization Record
Income Verification in the form of documents including: W-2; 1040 tax form; recent pay stub; employer's letter; TANF letter or SSI documents.

Applications are screened and prioritized for enrollment opportunities. All children accepted for enrollment must submit a completed physical and dental upon entry into the program. If an application is on file, please contact the office to ensure the most current address and phone number are listed.

General Contact (918)-453-5000 OR 1-800-256-0671