We operate 54 classrooms of Head Start, Early Head Start, PreK Counts, Keystone Kids and The Newton in Lehigh and Northampton Counties, PA specifically for low-income families (100% or below the poverty level). Our Head Start program dates back to 1965.
Our Head Start/Early Head Start program ranks as one of the top 10 in the country as recognized by the National Head Start Association. We have pioneered therapeutic intervention for babies and toddlers through our Early Head Start center-based program we call SafeStart, which serves as a model abuse prevention program. We have pioneered STEM education for preschoolers both in our Head Start classrooms and through our Newton School focusing on STEM as a way of learning. Our partners include researchers with Vanderbilt, Temple, Penn State, Lehigh, and DeSales universities. Our collaborators and partners include county social service agencies, school districts and health care providers.
We provide pre-kindergarten for seven area school districts: Bangor, Easton, Bethlehem, East Penn, Salisbury, Northampton, and Northern Lehigh.
In early education, our expertise helps parents support their children’s academic future. With 95% of our “graduates” healthy and fully ready for kindergarten, we set a high bar for achievement. Our program is accredited by both the National Association for the Education of Young Children and Middle States Commission on education.
CSC’s Early Head Start center-based program called SafeStart is the region’s only therapeutic classroom program for abused infants and toddlers. Lehigh and Northampton Counties each receive hundreds of referrals for children ages 0-3 affected by drugs and abuse. Our local hospitals record a hundred or more newborns affected by drugs or alcohol annually.
SafeStart helps very young children overcome health problems, developmental delays, and emotional trauma. SafeStart strengthens families to stop the cycle of abuse because research shows that 72% of abusive families were involved in child welfare themselves as children. Along with a special partnership with Lehigh Valley Hospital, SafeStart is supported by the US Dept of Health & Human Services/Head Start, Children and Youth departments of Lehigh and Northampton counties, and private grants and donations
The goal of the Regional Key is to help child care providers improve the quality of early childhood education throughout its 18-county region by providing management services, grants and awards, and professional development and technical assistance with a STAR rating system. Over 800 child care providers participate in the STARS program. The Key assists and recognizes programs for meeting standards of practice and professionalism set by Pennsylvania. Technical assistance includes expertise in various areas such as curriculum, human resources, facility development, and safety.
We provide national-level professional development for pre-kindergarten to grade 1 teachers and trainers in such areas as STEM and early literacy through the Regional Key and the Early Ed Academy. With grant assistance from PPL, we developed a comprehensive pre-k teacher training in STEM.
Child Care Information Services of Lehigh County administers subsidies for low income families, providing access annually to child care for 9200 children, infants through grade 5. More than 400 child care providers participate in the program. CCIS also offers child care referral services for parents and assistance in choosing child care.
CSC also operates two EITC-funded programs: Prek Scholarship Organization funding scholarships for low-income children and Educational Innovation Organization funding two Technology Labs enhancing literacy development for 240 prek children.
Educational Investment Tax Credit (EITC) is a program administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development in which companies may use tax credits to support approved educational programs.
All together, we affect the lives of more than 50,000 children and families annually. We routinely collaborate with school districts, area hospitals, Children and Youth departments of both counties, area colleges and universities, DaVinci Science Center, and various social welfare organizations and agencies.