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Early Childhood Programs

Head Start

National Head Start

Head Start is a national program administered by the Office of Head Start within the Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACF), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Head Start programs provide comprehensive services for low-income children from birth to entry into kindergarten.

Head Start currently receives more than $6.8 billion in funds and serves more than 906,000 low-income children and families nationwide. The program is child-centered, family-focused, comprehensive, and community-based. Head Start services are designed to address developmental goals for children, employment and self-sufficiency goals for adults, and support for parents in their work and child-caring roles.

Head Start is a direct federal-to-local program administered by more than 1,600 locally based public or private organizations (called "grantees") across the country.

In Pennsylvania, 36 Early Head Start grantees provide services to 4,156 children from birth to age 3 or to pregnant women. Children age 3 to entry into elementary school receive Head Start services from 49 grantee agencies. Federal funds provide 27,960 children with Head Start Services.

For more information about Head Start or to search for the nearest program visit:

PA PKC/HSSAP Advisory Committee 

Head State Supplemental Assistance Program

The Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program (HSSAP) grant provides state funds to supplement federal allocations to expand high quality pre-kindergarten Head Start services for eligible children throughout Pennsylvania. Head Start Programs may enroll additional three or four year old children and/or expand full day and full year service opportunities for children and families. Click here to apply.

Early Head Start 

OCDEL is a Federal Early Head Start Grantee. By working with 2 direct service partners, OCDEL provides 128 Early Head Start slots through Home-based service delivery options to pregnant women, infants and toddlers form low income families.  Counties served include Lawrence and Lebanon Counties.

Early Head Start serves income eligible pregnant women, infants and toddlers through their 3rd birthday.  For more information on OCDEL's Early Head Start program contact Tracey Campanini, 717-346-9324 or trcampanin@pa.gov.

Click Here for the Commonwealth of PA, OCDEL Early Head Start FY12 Report to the Public

Pennsylvania Head Start State Collaboration Office (HSSCO)

The PA HSSCO is located at the PA Key in Harrisburg. Click here for more information.

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