What is Head Start
Eligibility InformationBlair County Head Start serves income eligible children three to five years of age. We encourage everyone to complete a pre-enrollment form on our website or call us at 814-946-5247, ext. 225 (our recruitment voicemail line), even if you’re unsure of your eligibility. One of our staff will be in touch within 2 business days.
The Head Start Advantage
Former NAACP President/CEO discusses the benefits of Head Start.
Blair County Head Start, a Keystone STARS accredited program, provides a high-quality, comprehensive preschool program to children 3 to 5 years old and their families throughout Blair County.
Our program uses research-based curriculums to support preschoolers’ intellectual, physical, social and emotional growth and to help them prepare to enter school as competent learners. Blair County Head Start provides a variety of options and settings including part-day and full-day center-based classrooms operating within a school year calendar.
Blair County Head Start provides high-quality health, oral health, mental health, and nutrition services that are developmentally, culturally, and linguistically appropriate and that will support each child’s growth and school readiness.
Opportunities are provided for families to learn, discuss and identify health concerns while offering ongoing support to navigate health systems. The program implements a system of health and safety practices that ensure children are kept safe at all times.
Blair County Head Start ensures that enrolled children with disabilities, including but not limited to those who are eligible for services under IDEA, and their families receive all applicable program services delivered in the least restrictive possible environment and that they fully participate in all program activities.
Every child receives a developmental and speech/language screening. When a concern is identified, an appropriate referral is made to the LEA. The program works closely with the county’s three Local Education Agencies (LEA): Appalachia Intermediate Unit 08, the Altoona Area School District and Tyrone Area School District to set and implement individualized goals for children who would benefit from additional support.
There are a variety of ways for parents to become active in Head Start from volunteering in the classroom to participating in program planning and decision-making.
Head Start staff work with families to identify, establish and work toward individual goals based on specific family circumstances, and provide referrals to a broad range of community services as appropriate. In addition, the program provides a number of family engagement activities throughout the year that focus on school readiness and positive family interaction.
The Blair County Head Start program provides age-appropriate transportation in most areas for eligible children enrolled in the Head Start program. Some areas require a pick up and/or drop off location.
Head Start Program Performance Standards require buses to be equipped with child restraints (harnesses) and a Bus Aide is required on every bus to ensure safety and assist with child restraint systems, loading and unloading.