Early Childhood Education - Early Head Start/Head Start

  • Early Head Start/Head Start provides a comprehensive child-development program serving preschool age children (ages 3, 4, or 5) that meet family income eligibility requirements. The goal is to increase school readiness and social competence of young children in low-income families. EHS/HS provide a range of services including early-childhood education, health, nutrition, family services, transition, parent engagement, services to English language learners, mental health supports, and language and cognitive development.

    The Head Start program is funded to serve over 900 children in five different locations in Chester City, Chester Township, Folcroft, Sharon Hill, and Aston. The site in Aston houses a full complement of early-childhood services including Head Start/Early Intervention inclusion classes, Early Intervention specialized classes, and Pre-K Counts.

    Classes are held from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

    Funding is provided by Administration for Children and Families, Pennsylvania Department of Education, and Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) for the Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program and the Pre-K Counts Program.

    Early Head Start serves pregnant women and families of infants and toddlers in both Home Based and Center Based settings in Delaware County.

    Early Head Start Child Care Partnership Program

    DCIU currently partners with three early learning programs: Apple Pie Christian Academy, Smart From the Start, and The Children’s Garden to target services for low income families with children between the ages of 6 weeks and 36 months of age. Interested families should contact DCIU for more information regarding registration and enrollment requirements by calling Justine Pascal, Family Services Coordinator, 610-938-9000 ext. 2206.

    PA Pre-K Counts

    Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts is a State funded preschool program for 3- to 5-year-old children that prepares students for kindergarten. Pre-K Counts classrooms have certified teachers, utilize a research based curriculum, and consistently monitor student progress in order to improve child outcomes; programing is developmentally appropriate and supports social-emotional development to promote success in the first years of school. Currently 120 children are served in DCIU Pre-K Counts Classrooms; in addition partnership classrooms exist with Delco Early Learning Center; which serves 67 children and Rocky Run YMCA which currently serves 20 children.


    In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity. 


    Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. 


    To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at: https://www.usda.gov/sites/default/files/documents/USDA-OASCR%20P-Complaint-Form0508-0002-508-11-28-17Fax2Mail.pdf, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by:


    1. mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; or 

    2. fax: (833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or

    3. email: program.intake@usda.gov


    This institution is an equal opportunity provider. 


  • Early Head Start
  • Head Start
  • Pre-K Counts
  • Enrollment Applications and Forms