History of Head Start at CSC
In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson commissioned a committee of child development experts to create a plan to meet the education needs of the disadvantaged preschool aged population in the United States. The Head Start Project was born in 1965 and began as an eight-week summer program by the Office of Economic Opportunity. The plan was to provide a comprehensive program for low-income preschool children and their families to meets their needs of education, health, nutrition and psychological support. Today, Head Start, Early Head Start and Pre-K Counts serve more than one million children nationwide.
Head Start began in the Lehigh Valley when Judith Chase began a pilot chapter of Head Start in Easton, PA. Following the success of that pilot, in 1967 it expanded into both Lehigh and Northampton counties and a few years later branched out to rural areas with home-based services. These programs were operated by Colonial Northampton Intermediate Unit #20 followed by the Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley, prior to 1981.
Community Services for Children was incorporated in 1981 by Pat Levin to manage Head Start as well as other early education programs in the Lehigh Valley. Since that time, CSC has grown to be the areas leader in early education. In 2018, we expanded our services by opening Early Learning Resource Centers in 17 counties across northeastern PA. With Head Start as our model, CSC is committed to putting children first.
Prepare young children and their families to succeed in learning and in life through innovative, comprehensive, leading-edge services.
Engaged communities where every child thrives and every family succeeds.
Head Start and Pre-K Counts
In another year, your 4-year old will be marching off to kindergarten. It’s exciting and perhaps a little scary, too. Kindergartners start school expected to know their letters, the sounds the letters typically make and rhyming words. They are expected to count to 10 and recognize these numbers. Kindergartners are expected to be able to sit for several hours a day, know how to share and take turns.
CSC offers two preschool options, Head Start and Pre-K Counts. Although their funding differs somewhat, we operate them with the same high standards. Children attend school between 160 and 180 days a year. We provide preschool for eleven area school districts: Allentown, Bangor, Easton, Bethlehem, East Penn, Salisbury, Northampton, Northern Lehigh, Parkland, Pen Argyl and Whitehall-Coplay and we also collaborate with Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 and Carbon-Lehigh Intermediate Unit 21.
Early Head Start
It’s never too early to start a bright future for you and your family! Our program provides comprehensive prenatal and post-birth education, parenting preparation, education and support for infants and toddlers, preparation for preschool, and so much more.
Early Head Start promises a high-quality program that will:
- Support your baby’s growth and development from birth to age 3
- Value your family’s unique background and strengths
- Support your achievement of personal and family goals
- Encourage healthy parent and baby relationships!
Early Head Start-center based (SafeStart)
For this Early Head Start program, children must be referred by the Children and Youth department of Lehigh county. The center-based setting, known as SafeStart, is the region’s only therapeutic classroom program for abused infants and toddlers. Two locations, serving a total of 71 children, provide early intervention for babies and toddlers impacted by drugs and/or alcohol, to help them overcome health problems, developmental delays and emotional trauma.
The program strengthens families to stop the cycle of abuse because research shows that 72 percent of abusive families were involved in the child welfare system when they were children. Along with a special partnership with Lehigh Valley Health Network, SafeStart is supported by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Head Start, the Children and Youth department of Lehigh county and private grants and donations.