A head start in school and life
Head Start is a free, comprehensive child development program for families with children ages three to five (who are not enrolled in kindergarten) and who live in Northumberland County.
Designed to give children a "head start" in school and life, the program promotes school readiness by enhancing the social and cognitive development of children.
Children with disabilities are welcome and included in all aspects of the program. In collaboration with CSIU Preschool Early Intervention, identification and specialized services are available.
Center-based preschool services are provided in locations throughout the county. Children attend the center for five days a week, for five hours a day during the school year. Each family also receives two home visits annually.
- Nutritious meals and snacks are provided during days at the center. Limited transportation is available for children enrolled in Head Start.
- Children participate in indoor and outdoor play. They are encouraged to express their feelings and develop self-confidence, as well as the ability to get along with others.
- Preschoolers in the Head Start program receive preventative health services including vision, hearing and developmental screenings.
- Assistance is provided for families to acquire health insurance, obtain physical exams, immunizations and dental health care for their children.
- Nutrition and health education are stressed in the classroom and during home visits.
Head Start’s philosophy is “the parent is the child’s first and most important teacher.” Family engagement is an important part of the Head Start program, as parents work in partnership with staff to promote the education of their children.
Parents help make decisions about the program at monthly Policy Council meetings. Head Start assists families by linking them to available community resources and services.
Programs are located in Coal Township, Herndon, Milton, New Columbia, Northumberland, Sunbury and Watsontown.