Head Start & Early Head Start


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Programs & Services

PreK Counts

PA PreK Counts (PA PKC) is a state-funded preschool program for children 3 and 4 years of age. Children may be enrolled in the program for 2 years up until the age of kindergarten. The goal of PA PKC is to help reduce educational disparities by providing high quality prekindergarten for children and increase their school readiness and success. Like other early learning programs, PA PKC focuses on the development of the whole child, providing quality teaching and learning in the areas of Language and Literacy, Social and Emotional Competencies, Mathematics, Science and Technology, the Arts, Fine and Gross Motor and other Physical Development, the Approaches to Learning. TIU 11-Juniata County Early Childhood Services offers  PA PKC classrooms in Juniata and Perry Counties.

Parents as Teachers (PAT)

Parents as Teachers (PAT) is a federal and state funded home-based educational program that focuses on improving parenting practices which has been shown through research to increase children’s school readiness and success. Helping parents realize their potential to be their child’s first and most important teacher also helps provide early detection of developmental delays and health issues as well as prevent child abuse and neglect. The PAT program enrolls pregnant women and families with children birth through 5 years of age. Partnering with families nurtures positive changes for both children and families. There are no income requirements for this program. TIU 11-Juniata County Early Childhood Services offers PAT programs in Juniata, Perry, and Mifflin Counties.

Head Start Services

Head Start is a federal program that promotes the school readiness of children ages birth to 5 from low-income families by enhancing their cognitive, social and emotional development. Head Start programs provide a learning environment that supports children’s growth in:

  • Language and literacy
  • Cognition and general knowledge
  • Physical development and health
  • Social and emotional development
  • Approaches to learning

Head Start programs provide comprehensive services to enrolled children and their families, which include health, nutrition, social services and other services determined to be necessary by family needs assessments, in addition to education and cognitive development services. Head Start services are designed to be responsive to each child and family’s ethnic, cultural and linguistic heritage.

Head Start emphasizes the role of parents as their child’s first and most important teacher. Head Start programs build relationships with families that support:

  • Family well-being and positive parent-child relationships
  • Families as learners and lifelong educators
  • Family engagement in transitions
  • Family connections to peers and community
  • Families as advocates and leaders

TIU 11-Juniata County Early Childhood Services offers Head Start classroom and home-based services  in Juniata County.

About Early Head Start

The reauthorization of the Head Start Act in 1994 made it possible to establish Early Head Start as a program to serve infants and toddlers under the age of 3, and pregnant women.

Early Head Start provides early, continuous, intensive, and comprehensive child development and family support services to low-income infants and toddlers and their families, and pregnant women and their families.

The Goals of Early Head Start

  • To provide safe and developmentally enriching caregiving which promotes the physical, cognitive, social and emotional development of infants and toddlers, and prepares them for future growth and development;
  • To support parents, both mothers and fathers, in their role as primary caregivers and teachers of their children, and families in meeting personal goals and achieving self-sufficiency across a wide variety of domains;
  • To mobilize communities to provide the resources and environment necessary to ensure a comprehensive, integrated array of services and support for families;
  • To ensure the provision of high quality responsive services to family through the development of trained, and caring staff.

TIU 11-Juniata County Early Childhood Services offers Early Head Start home-based services  in Juniata County.

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