REDMOND, Ore. -

Only 79 slots remain for NeighborImpact’s Head Start program for the 2014-2015 school year.

NeighborImpact staff have been busy processing applications and getting the word about this critical program for low-income children in Crook and Deschutes County.

Several local communities still have slots available for children: Redmond, 44; Bend: 23; Prineville: 8; and La Pine: 4.

NeighborImpact Head Start served 433 children this year and provides a broad range of services in addition to classroom education. Health, nutrition, and family support services are complemented by a vast array of programs that support the entire family in all areas of their lives.

“Head Start is unique because of our specialized services. We want to make sure that all kids have the opportunity to overcome the obstacles they face so they can succeed once they enter the public school system,” said Patty Wilson, deputy director of early care & education.

Children must come from households living in poverty. Priority is given to children who are homeless, identified special needs, foster children and children who have suffered from abuse, neglect and early childhood trauma. NeighborImpact conducts rigorous assessments, and more than 95 percent of the children enrolled in Head Start enter kindergarten having met the standards.

To qualify, children must live in Deschutes or Crook counties and be three or four-years-old on September 1, 2014. Applications and information regarding eligibility are available for download at www.neighborimpact.org, or area NeighborImpact offices in Bend, La Pine, Redmond and Prineville. Families can also call (541) 323-6527 to have an application mailed.