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Head Start

Oglala Lakota College works hard to provide resources for students with families. The Head Start program is available for expectant mothers, and children up to the age of 5 in order to provide a daycare program and childcare for students.


Wounspe Oaye Tokahe (WOT) (Woe oon’ spay Oh ah’ ye ‘Toe kah’ hay), which means First Level of Education, operates the Birth to Five Head Start Program on the Pine Ridge Reservation. This has been done under the aegis of Oglala Lakota College at the request of the Oglala Sioux Tribe since 2005. WOT believes in the mission of Head Start which is “ Head Start promotes the school readiness of young children from low income families by enhancing their cognitive, social, and emotional development. “ and also in the Vision of “Helping people. Changing lives. Building communities.” WOT provides quality services in the key Head Start areas of Early Learning, Health and Family Well-being.

The Mission of Wounspe Oaye Tokahe

is to provide a full range of services to meet the needs of economically disadvantaged Lakota children from 0-5 and their families on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation addressing cognitive, emotional, physical, nutritional, mental health, Lakota language, and cultural development needs.


Our children will have strong nagi and be ready for the next level of education with parent and family support.


Oglala Lakota College strives to practice and teach the values of traditional Lakota culture: Ohitika (Bravery), Wacantognakapi (Generosity), Wowacintaka (Fortitude), Wokiksuye (Remembrance), Unsihanpi (Humility), Woyuonihan (Respect), Woonspe (Learning), Woslolye (Knowledge), Wookahnige (Understanding) and Woksape (Wisdom).

Overall we will continue to emphasize the practice of Wolakolkiciyapi to strengthen our commitment to our communities by nurturing trust and reinforcing our program’s Lakota identity.

Program Goals

  • Goal 1 Provide a quality program to serve needs of 0-5 children on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation
  • Goal 2 Develop Life Plan for children and Provide Services as indicated
  • Goal 3 Get children ready for Kindergarten
  • Goal 4 Assist families in implementing Life Plan for children and making progress on Family Plan
  • Goal 5 Maintain an Effective Governance and Management structure.

Wounspe Oaye Tokahe

Early Head Start/Head Start Program

At Oglala Lakota College we believe nothing should get in the way of obtaining your college degree, and we are here to help you in any way we can!

To ensure the greater success of students with young children or those expecting children, Oglala Lakota College proudly provides daycare and childcare services through the Head Start/ Early Head Start Program. To best serve the spread of OLC students across the Pine Ridge Reservation, Head Start currently operates 10 centers in Allen, Kyle, Manderson, Martin, Oglala, Porcupine, Pine Ridge, Wakpamni, Wanblee and Wounded Knee. 

Thanks to Head Start, students with children can pursue their college education without having to stress about finding childcare services while they’re at school. Serving over 500 children on an annual basis, Early Head Start serves children ages 0 - 3, while Head Start serves children ages 3 - 5. At the present moment ,OLC operates 22 Head Start and 9 Early Head Start classrooms across the Head Start network. 

Are you looking for childcare while you attend school?
We encourage you to apply for our program!

Who is eligible for the Head Start/Early Head Start Program?

  • Pregnant women and children ages Birth-5 who have a family income that meets federal income guidelines 
  • Children with disabilities
  • Foster Children
  • Children whose families are homeless
  • Children of families exceeding these guidelines may be eligible based on specific needs

Here’s what to bring with you
to enroll your children in Head Start:

  • Verification of your family's income for the past 12 months including child support, unemployment, college grants/scholarships, SSI and TANF
  • Proof of your child's immunization records
  • Documentation to verify your child's date of birth
  • Medicaid/Medicare or Private Insurance Card (if applicable)
  • Diagnosed Disability Documentation (if applicable)

Head Start Application Forms

Contact Us

P.O. Box 490
490 Piya Wiconi Road
Kyle, SD 57752