ELC Provides Comments on Proposed Revisions to the Head Start Performance Standards

The Education Law Center continues to press to ensure all young children have access to early learning programs. On September 17, 2015 ELC commented on the proposed revisions to the Head Start Performance Standards. Head Start programs promote health, education, and self-sufficiency for low-income children and their families.

The proposed regulations make several positive steps towards ensuring that Head Start programs meet the needs of educationally vulnerable children. In our comments, ELC identifies additional areas where the proposed language could be strengthened to provide clearer guidance. In particular, ELC’s submission provides suggestions on how to better serve and meet the needs of young children experiencing homelessness, children in foster care, and children and families with limited English proficiency. Our comments also voice support for the proposed regulations’ efforts to reduce the use of suspensions and expulsions.

Read ELC’s complete comments.

Give a Child a Head Start – Sign Up Today! (Philadelphia)

Head Start (HS) and Early Head Start (EHS) programs work: they promote the school readiness of young children from low-income families and support the mental, social, and emotional development of children from birth to age 5.  Sadly, according to 2010 census data, slightly less than 50% of eligible children in Pennsylvania have a corresponding Head Start slot.  ELC has been working to change this by expanding access to Head Start and prioritizing our most vulnerable young children. Under the Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007,  children experiencing homelessness and those in foster care are automatically eligible for EHS and HS programs and must be prioritized for enrollment.

The School District of Philadelphia has openings and is currently accepting applications for enrollment to Head Start for September 2015 Below is the list of locations that currently have vacancies and two flyers that have registration dates at McMichael and Pratt schools.  For additional information, please contact R. Waunda Loadholt, Social Service Coordinator at the District 215-400-6213.

ELC Releases Spanish Language Version of Early Childhood Learning Guide

June 1, 2013 – The Education Law Center recently released a Spanish language version of its Family Guide to Inclusive Early Childhood Learning in Pennsylvania: Guía sobre el Aprendizaje Temprano Incluyente para Familias Residentes en Pennsylvania.

The guide is a quick and easy resource to inclusive early childhood learning programs in Pennsylvania for parents of children with developmental delays or disabilities. It describes eight different early childhood learning programs, including Early Head Start and Head Start, Infant and Toddler and Preschool Early Intervention, and Pre-K Counts, and provides information for parents on child development and how to find quality early learning programs.

The guide offers parent tools, problem-solving tips, and information about the legal rights of parents and children to early childhood learning programs. It also gives links to websites and other resources to help parents and others navigate the full range of early childhood opportunities in Pennsylvania.

The project is supported by a grant from the Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council. The guide can be downloaded here or on the Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council’s website at www.paddc.org.

The Education Law Center is available to provide free training to groups of parents, early childhood educators, social workers, and others on the entire guide or portions of the guide.

For more information or to schedule a training, please contact Nancy Hubley in Pittsburgh at [email protected] or (412) 258-2120.