Long before children enter kindergarten, they are learning about the world around them: colors, smells, sights, sounds. Education may be seen as "starting in kindergarten," but learning starts much earlier.
In fact, nearly 90 percent of brain development occurs before the age of five. Research shows children who do not have quality early learning experiences start behind when they enter school. Research also shows students who start behind; stay behind. This is why it is so important for young children to have quality early learning experiences.
Warren County is fortunate to have a wide variety of quality learning opportunities for its youngest learners; including Head Start, preschools, child care centers, home providers, Pre-K Counts, and kindergarten.
Photo submitted for publication
Registered for school
When students entering kindergarten are fully registered in any Warren County School District school, they will receive a t-shirt. A student is registered when the following are received by the school: completed registration packet, copy of birth certificate, immunization record, and proof of residency. Sydnie Cochran will be attending kindergarten at South Street Early Learning Center in Fall 2010. Registration begins Feb. 15, see schedule for dates and times.
Head Start is a comprehensive child development program which serves income-eligible children ages three to five and their families. The program promotes social competency and school-readiness and includes parent involvement and health screenings.
Preschools offer learning opportunities to three- and four-year-olds from September until May. Classes are held two or three days per week for several hours each day. Children learn social, emotional and school readiness skills through activities and play.
Full- and part-time child care is available in daycare centers and homes; providing a safe environment for working families. Children have opportunities to learn, make new friends, and develop school readiness skills. Through a partnership with the Warren County School District, the district's reading and math curriculum are offered in many child care facilities and preschools.
Pennsylvania established a voluntary quality enhancement program, Keystone STARS, which recognizes licensed child care providers who exceed state health and safety regulations. Facilities are eligible for a 1, 2, 3 or 4 STAR ranking depending on the quality of their program, staffing qualifications and business practices. This is a great tool for parents to use in selecting a child care facility. For more information, visit www.pakeys.org.
For several years members of Warren's early learning community have been working together to create seamless transition opportunities as children move from pre-kindergarten to kindergarten. According to Ann Buerkle, principal at South Street Early Learning Center, "I know kindergarten teachers appreciate all the efforts made by parents, preschools and daycare practitioners to provide children with early learning experiences. The collaboration between the preschool and school-aged professionals has lead to a successful transition for children as they enter the kindergarten environment."
EOC's Early Care and Education Coalition coordinates a Pre-K Scholarship Program which assists families with the cost of early learning opportunities. Because of this program, the financial barrier of early learning has been significantly decreased in Warren and Forest counties. For more information on the scholarship program or to learn which facilities participate in the scholarship program, contact Tish Montgomery at 726-1361.
While February may seem early for registrations, early enrollment helps the facilities plan for programming and staffing, allows families to prepare their child for a new learning environment and guarantees enrollment for programs which fill up quickly. For more information about early learning opportunities or child care, call the CCIS at 726-1361.
Creative Preschool: Open enrollment. Contact First United Methodist Church at 723-4930, Patti Moore at 726-1526, or Jane Crouch at 723-7224.
Grace Promise Preschool: Packets are available at the Grace United Methodist Church. Registration began on Feb. 1 and will remain open until all slots are filled. Contact Emily Birgel at 723-9440
Sugar Grove Imaginative Preschool: Contact Julie Harrington at 489-3105
YMCA Preschool: In-house registration for current students and siblings of current siblings began Feb. 8. Open registration begins Feb. 15 and will remain open until all available slots are filled. Contact YMCA front desk or Kathy Lindsey at 726-0110, ext 112.
Youngsville First United Methodist Preschool: Stop by for a registration packet Monday through Thursday, Feb. 15-18 from 8 a.m. to noon. Return completed packets, including registration fee, as soon as possible as positions are filled on a first come first serve basis. Contact Christa Monza at 563-4201 for more information.
Don Mills Early Childhood Learning Center: Open enrollment. Contact Barb Swanson at 723-5730.
St. Joseph's Preschool: Registration will be held on March 5, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the school office. Enrollment will remain open after that date until slots are filled. Contact Dr. Howard Ferguson at 723-2030.
Clarendon United Methodist Preschool: Contact Gloria Chase at 723-5435.
Therapeutic Learning Classroom - This classroom is held once a week and is available to children who do and do not qualify for Early Intervention. Contact the Intermediate Unit at 1-800-677-5610, extension 8461 (Kim Sanders) to request an evaluation for your three- to five-year-old. Contact Liz McChesney at 1-888-621-9892, extension 803 for registration information.
The Center-Based Early Intervention Program - This is a two- to four-day program provided for children with special needs. Contact the Intermediate Unit, 1-800-677-5610, extension 8461 (Kim Sanders), to request an evaluation for your three- to five-year-old.
Autistic Support Classroom - This is a four day a week program provided for three- to five-year-old children who have been diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Contact the Intermediate Unit, 1-800-677-5610, extension 8461 (Kim Sanders), to request an evaluation for your three- to five-year-old.
Head Start Registration
Ongoing enrollment throughout the year. Applications are accepted for the current year (in operation) and the next year that begins in the fall. Contact Julie Blum at 726-2400 ext 3027 or 1-800-231-1797 ext.3027. Office hours 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts
Registration for Pre-K Counts programs at the Jefferson DeFrees Family Center and Warren-Forest EOC begins Feb. 15 until enrollment is filled. Contact Susan Anderson at Jefferson DeFrees at 723-6350 or Julie Blum at Warren-Forest EOC at 726-2400, extension 3027.
Child Care/Summer Care Registration
Enrollment is on-going throughout the year for daycare facilities. For summer care, contact providers for enrollment dates as summer programs fill up fast.
Care with Grace Day Care and Summer Program: Care with Grace Daycare - openings for 2, 3 and 4 year olds. Contact Ariel Mickle 814-723-9440 x18. Forms also available online at carewithgrace.yolasite.com
Grace Summer Camp - Now taking registrations; ages 6-10. Contact Ariel at 723-9440.
Henry R. Rouse Children's Center and Summer Program: Contact Michelle Reilly at 563-2890.
Jefferson DeFrees Family Center and Summer Program: Contact Susan Anderson at 723-6350.
North Warren Presbyterian Day Care: Contact Sandy Goodwill at 723-6441.
Russell UMC Day Care: Contact Tammy Belin or Wendy Kobejek at 757-5085.
Ruth M. Smith Center : Contact 968-3239.
YMCA Summer Camps: Little "Y"ers Summer Day Camp, ages 3-5 and Summer Day Camp for children entering first grade through 12 years of age. Registration will begin April 19 for YMCA members and April 26 for non-members. Contact the YMCA front desk or Kathy Lindsey at 726-0110, ext. 112.
Don Mills Camp Talk-A-Lot: Contact Barb Swanson 723-5730.
Registration packets will be available at each school, on-line at www.wcsdpa.org, pre-K sites, and child care providers. Families are encouraged to come to registration prepared with a completed packet, birth certificate and immunization record.
Registration takes approximately one hour and includes a vision screening, a review of health information with a nurse, and a visit with a kindergarten teacher.
Registration is scheduled for the following locations and times:
Allegheny Valley: Tuesday, Feb. 16, 8:30 to 10:45 a.m., 1 to 2:30 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m.
Russell: Monday, Feb. 15, 9 to 11 a.m., 1 to 2:30 p.m., and 4 to 6 p.m.
Sheffield Elementary: Monday, Feb. 15, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m.
South Street Early Learning: last name beginning with letters A through N, Thursday, Feb. 18, 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., 12:30 to 2 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m.; last name beginning with letters O through Z, Friday, Feb. 19, 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 to 2 p.m.
Sugar Grove: Tuesday, Feb. 16, 8:30 to 10:45 a.m., 1 to 2:30 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m.
Youngsville Elementary: Thursday, Feb. 18, 9 to 11 a.m., 1 to 2:30 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m.
St. Joseph School
Saint Joseph's Catholic School will hold its annual Kindergarten Round-Up on Monday, Feb. 15.
Any parent who wishes to register his/her child may do so by calling Tara Shattuck at 723-2030.
Any questions regarding the school may be directed to Dr. Howard Ferguson at the same phone number.
Parents are invited to visit the school at a time of their convenience.
Tidioute Community Charter School
The Tidioute Community Charter School enrollment period runs from March 1 to May 1 with an open house on Monday, April 5 from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. for all interested families K-12.
Parents and students can meet the teachers, take a tour of the school and learn more about the elementary and high school programs offered at TCCS.
TCCS offers all-day kindergarten for four- and five-year-olds. Any child residing in Pennsylvania is eligible to attend TCCS at no charge with busing provided for students in the Warren, Forest and Titusville school districts.
The TCCS school day runs from 8 a.m. until 3:11 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Kindergarten students attend weekly specials including gym, art, library, music and computer. All classrooms, including kindergarten, have smart boards that the students use daily.
The elementary classrooms use the Scott Foresmen reading program which includes math, science, social studies, writing and dramatic play. Students who are advanced or challenged in their reading skills receive additional time with a reading teacher.
Because enrollment is limited to ensure small class sizes and individualized attention, parents are urged to sign their children up early. Parents may pick up their enrollment packets at the school or call and have them mailed.
For more information, contact the school at 484-3550.
Warren County Christian School
Warren County Christian School offers an excellent Christ-centered kindergarten program for your child.
Our program is five full days a week.
We offer proven phonics-based reading curriculum, math, hands-on science, art, music, phys-ed, Bible and more. Best of all, our learning environment is loving and family-like, and scholarships are now available for families who meet state income guidelines.
You may visit our school by appointment most anytime. We are also offering a visitation day on Friday, Feb. 26 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. when your child is welcome to come in and participate in our kindergarten classroom.
There is never any obligation when you come and visit.
Call to schedule your child's visit.
The kindergarten teacher is Christine Clark.
For more information, contact Richard Kolcharno, administrator.
WCCS "Equipping Youth with God's Truth" - Eph. 4:13