Bradford Tioga Head Start

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5 Riverside Plaza - Blossburg, PA 16912

570-638-1400

Fax - 570-638-1425

 

Our History

 

BRADFORD-TIOGA HEAD START, INC. has helped thousands of families for over 35 years. The federally funded program began in 1978 as a preschool program. As opportunities became available, the program applied for and received funding to open additional preschool classrooms and Early Head Start home-based services.

Bradford-Tioga Head Start, Inc. receives federal and state funding to provide Head Start and PA Pre-K Counts (preschool) programming in Tioga and Bradford Counties, and federal funding provides programming for Early Head Start.  Classrooms in Bradford and Tioga Counties serve 3 to 5 year olds and their families. Early Head Start is a home-based program that serves pregnant mothers and families with children from birth to age 3.

ELIGIBILITY for all programs is based on the Federal Poverty Guidelines. The majority of slots are filled with income eligible families; however, the Head Start and Early Head Start programs may enroll up to 10% of families who are over the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Although the program provides PA Pre-K Counts services which is funded by the PA Department of Education and has higher income guidelines, Bradford-Tioga Head Start, Inc. follows the more stringent Income Guidelines.  Bradford-Tioga Head Start, Inc. also provides services to children who meet certain categorical criteria such as homelessness, SSI, and foster care.

POLICY COUNCIL is comprised of individuals who make policy and program decisions. One parent is elected by each classroom’s Parent Committee, and two parents from each county are elected by Early Head Start parents. Policy Council representatives must be parents or legal guardians of currently enrolled children. There are also community representatives on Policy Council who are elected by the parent members. They are from agencies located throughout Bradford and Tioga Counties. Policy Council has a real voice in determining the nature of the Head Start Program in each community. They approve grant applications and major changes in operation. Policy Council representatives are included in the interview process and approve all new hires and terminations, including that of the Executive Director.

FUNDING for Bradford-Tioga Head Start, Inc.’s Preschool Program is provided by the federal and state governments; Early Head Start funding is federally funded. The federal grants require that each four dollars of federal funds be matched by one dollar of non-federal funds. The federal and state governments allow the program to use the State Head Start funds for the federal non-federal match requirement. As state expenses are incurred, these funds are used as non-federal match. Classrooms are funded with a combination of State and federal funding, full state funding, or full federal funding; all of which provide children with a 5 ½ hour day for 180 days a year. Only two classrooms, both in Rome, remain 3 ½ hours each day for 130 hours a year, and both are federally funded.

CENTER-BASED PRESCHOOL PROGRAM

The center-based preschool program is a high quality program designed for children ages 3 to 5 years old (not kindergarten eligible).  The program accepts children who are 100% or below the 100% Federal Poverty Guidelines.  Most children attend class five days a week, 180 days a year, August thru June.  The well-structured program is built around activities to foster school readiness for children in all developmental areas. The small class size and high staff to children ratio (3:17) gives children many opportunities to work one on one with their teachers.  Nutritious breakfasts/snacks and lunches are served daily. Children in specific geographic areas are transported in buses. All children receive developmental, speech, language, dental, vision, and medical screenings, with needed follow-up.

Bradford-Tioga Head Start, Inc.’s competent staff are ready to help children grow academically and socially in order to prepare them for Kindergarten. Teachers meet with parents regularly to review a child’s progress and to provide various skill development activities to do at home with their child. It is recognized that parents are the child’s most important teacher and play a key role in their child’s school readiness. The program encourages families to get involved with their child’s education, by volunteering, attending parent meetings and trainings, attending parent teacher conferences, and actively participating with their child, both at home and at school.

Parent participation is an aspect of the program which makes it unique. Parents are encouraged to participate in the program any way possible. Family Advocates work closely with parents to support their needs and develop Family Partnership Agreements.  Each family’s strengths are identified in the agreement and together goals are established to support the family with various goals.  Staff also link parents with needed  services; such as Food Stamps, job banks, and medical programming.   

Each classroom has a parent committee which meets regularly. It plans parent and child activities and also elects a parent representative for Policy Council. Training in child development, effective parenting, budgeting, and life skills are only some of the scheduled trainings. Bradford-Tioga Head Start, Inc. also focuses on the parent as the child's primary teacher. The child spends more time with the parents than in any other place. Parents are encouraged to spend time with each child and are given various skill development activities to do at home with their child.

HOME-BASED EARLY HEAD START

Bradford-Tioga Head Start Inc.’s home-based program provides comprehensive education, health, nutrition and social services based on the individual needs of the family. The program offers information about child development, parenting, and family goals. A support network for low income pregnant women and families with young children is an integral piece of the program. Early Head Start helps the parent to understand their child’s development. Home Visitors, called Family Partners, teach parents how to help their child learn new skills while being the child’s first teacher.

The Family Partner makes weekly visits to the home in order to provide the services. The Family Partner will help the family set and reach family goals through a Family Partnership Agreement. These visits focus on the child’s continuing growth and development. Parents will learn about the importance of being actively involved in their child’s life.

Early Head Start guides families to the appropriate services and resources. Each month family play groups are organized by the Family Partner so that the families and children can come together to enjoy fun, nutritious snacks, and learn. This also gives the families the opportunity to build a support network by sharing their experiences in parenting.

Early Head Start helps the family get the specialized services they need for their child. The family will have opportunities to connect and engage with other families with young children with special needs.