Head Start Program|
"Building Bridges" in the
Bridges is a comprehensive program of storytelling, creative drama, and writing
designed to help children develop critical literacy skills and transform into
storytellers of their own lives. Head Start of Lancaster has worked with the
Fulton Theatre over the last three years to offer the program to preschoolers
preparing them for entry into kindergarten. The Fulton Theatre provides the
professionally trained “teaching artists” who conduct the classes.
Head Start of Lancaster acknowledges and thanks the
Fulton Theatre, the Lancaster County Community Foundation and the PNC Foundation
for sponsoring the Building Bridges program.
Recently, WGAL aired a story
highlighting the program and its outcomes. Click on the picture at right to
view the segment.
You may need to download a software application to allow the viewing of the video if you system does not already have such software.* Click on the Adobe logo below to download the latest version of Flash Player.
Head Start Overview
Widely recognized as one of the most successful anti-poverty programs of the 1960's, Head Start continues to promote school readiness for children ages 3 to 5 from low-income families. Head Start is the largest program administered by the Community Action Program with over 800 children and families served in 11 centers throughout Lancaster County.
Head Start's mission is to promote school readiness for low-income children by enhancing their cognitive, social, and emotional development in a learning environment that supports children's growth in language and literacy, mathematics and science, social and emotional functioning, creative arts and physical skills. Based on needs assessments, Head Start helps low-income children and their families obtain health, educational, nutritional, social, and other services appropriate to their needs.
The Head Start program offers a wide range of services to families and children including:
- Nutrition - Head Start provides nutritious meals to children attending the centers. The center staff also works with parents to assess children's nutritional status and provided valuable nutrition education to help them plan nutritious meals at home that fit within families' budgets.
- Health - All children enrolled in Head Start receive dental and health screenings with assistance for follow-up treatment when appropriate. The screenings help insure that children receive their recommended immunizations and teach parents the importance of prevention.
- Parent and Family Engagement - The philosophy of Head Start is that parents should be involved with all aspects of the program. From volunteering in classrooms and participating in educational activities in the program, to selecting program staff, Head Start involves the parents in the education of their children in a very meaningful and productive way.
In addition, parents are afforded access to a broad range of community services. These services have great impact on the families as they move toward self-sufficiency. The services include improving educational and employment skills, resolving health issues and assistance in securing better housing.
Transportation - The Head Start program provides transportation to children based on availability and family need.
- Volunteer and In-Kind Opportunities - Head Start has many opportunities for volunteering and in-kind giving. The Head Start grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services requires agencies to provide local matching grants and/or in-kind contributions equal to 20% of the total program cost. In the case of CAP's Head Start program that figure is roughly $1.5 million. Consequently, the program is always in need of classroom volunteers, donations of books and classroom supplies and professional services.
Program Qualifications/Income Guidelines
Head Start serves children in the two years before they are school eligible. Homeless children, foster children and families receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) funds for disabilities are eligible regardless of the income guidelines. All others fall under the income guidelines set each year by the federal government, which are based on family size and gross income for the past twelve months.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: My five-year-old child just missed the cut off for entering kindergarten. I heard that Head Start is for three and four-year-olds. Is my child eligible?
A: Yes, your child is age eligible if she/he was not old enough to enter school. He/she will get one year of Head Start and then move on to the school district.
Q: My four-year-old child and I moved to my parents' house after the child's father left us. Our family income was higher last year because the father's income was supporting us. Do you consider last year's tax return for my child's eligibility even though I no longer receive income from the father?
A: No, we only consider the income of parents that are currently living with the child.
Q: My son has special needs and requires therapy. Will Head Start be able to serve my son?
A: Yes, Head Start will work in partnership with the providers of your child's special therapy and the teacher will learn about your child's needs before he starts.
Q: I am a working parent so my grandmother watches my child. I feel he needs a more structured environment and play time with other children. Could Head Start pick up my child and drop him off at my grandmother's house after class?
A: Yes, if the program offers transportation to that area for other children.
Head Start Centers -
CAROL B. WINTERS CENTER
CAP/Head Start Building
57 Laurel Street
Lancaster, PA 17603
717.295.1441, ext. 328 Year-round staff to do applications and take referrals
250 Clay School Road
Ephrata, PA 17522
COLUMBIA AREA CENTER
Head Start Building
815 Wright Street
Columbia, PA 17512
717.684.2706, ext. 303 September to May
CAP of Lancaster County Office
601 S. Queen Street
P.O. Box 599
Lancaster, PA 17608
717.299.7301, ext. 3883 September to May
99 Highland Avenue
Ephrata, PA 17522
717.333.1948 September to May
Lititz United Methodist Church
201 East Market Street
Lititz, PA 17543
717.625.1294 September to May
MOUNT JOY CENTER
Lancaster County Career and Technology Center
432 Old Market Street
P.O. Box 537
Mount Joy, PA 17552
717.653.3000, Ext. 3057 September to May
3 South Hazel Street
Manheim, PA 17543
NEW HOLLAND HOME-BASED CENTER
Saint Steven Church
249 East Main Street
New Holland, PA 17557
717.354.5250 September to May
QUARRYVILLE HOME-BASED CENTER
Faith Reformed Presbyterian Church
611 Robert Fulton Highway
Quarryville, PA 17566
717.786.4049 September to May
Diane Koon, Director
601 S. Queen Street PO Box 599
Lancaster, PA 17608-0599
For enrollment information, contact the Head Start center nearest you.
Head Start Application
Other Related Links
*The Community Action Program (CAP) of Lancaster County provides links to other websites as a convenience to our visitors. CAP of Lancaster County is not responsible for the content of those sites and accepts no liability as to their safety or accuracy of content. Please review the usage policies of each linked site and downloaded software should be used as per the provider. Placement of these links on the website does not imply endorsement by CAP of Lancaster County.