Head Start

Head Start

Head Start is a comprehensive preschool program that provides education, health, and nutritional services for each enrolled child. Eligible children must be between 3 and 5 years old and meet federally established income guidelines. A variety of social services are also provided to enrolled families. A minimum of ten percent of the total enrollment is set aside to serve children with professionally diagnosed disabilities. Head Start has centers and home-based projects located throughout Cameron, Elk, McKean, and Potter counties.

What is Head Start?

Education is learning and Head Start helps children:

  • Have the opportunities to experience new adventures.
  • Learn through play alone and with others.
  • Develop their language and physical skills.
  • Be curious and creative.
  • Be themselves.

Parents are encoraged to help with all of the many activities which take place within Head Start classrooms and during field trips away from the Center.

Parents are supported as the prime educators of their children through both centers and home activities.

Social Services

Social Services offers support and guidance to families in dealing with problems.

Head Start makes efforts to take away some of the confusion by:

  • Helping families to identify their problems;
  • Helping families receive eligible services.

The Head Start Program provides help in obtaining medical and dental services, vision, speech/language, and psychological screenings for the children, as needed.

Good health is having one’s body and mind in tip-top condition.
Head Start helps children to get and stay in tip-top condition by:

  • Finding problems that may lead to poor health;
  • Providing help in obtaining a complete physical examiniation;
  • Seeing that children receive the required immunizations;
  • Providing toothpaste and toothbrushes with supervision as to how to use them;
  • Screening vision, hearing, and speech to detect possible problems.
Parent Involvement

Head Start tries to do what is best for children’s growth and development. No one is more important to the success of the program than the parents of the children.Parents are invited to participate in the Program in several different ways.

  • By participating in programs for the parents;
  • By helping make decisions about the Head Start Program in your area;
  • By helping the children in the classrooms;
  • By becoming a part of your child’s education.

Children who have disabilities because of:

  • Health Impairment
  • Visual Impairment
  • Hearing Impairment
  • Orthopedic Impairment
  • Speech/Language Impairment
  • Developmental Delays
  • Emotional/Behavioral Disorders
  • Learning Disabilities

will have the opportunity to benefit from a comprehensive developmental program.

Head Start cooperates with other programs and agencies in responding to the individualized needs of the child with disabilities.

Also, the program uses professional consultants along with additional staff members to provide services to children with disabilities.

Food & Nutrition

Northern Tier Corporation’s Head Start Program participates in the Child and Adult Care Food Program funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Children who are TANF recipients or who are members of SNAP or FDPIR households or are Head Start participants, are automatically eligible to receive free meal benefits.

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form.

To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

  • Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;
  • Fax: (202) 690-7442; or
  • E-mail: program.intake@usda.gov

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Enrollment / Eligibility

Head Start is a family and child development program for low-income families. Family income is one key factor in determining eligibility.  The federal poverty guidelines are used to evaluate family income.  In addition, at least 10% of enrollment must be children with disabilities, who have a current IEP (Individual Education Plan).

Your child is eligible for Head Start if you meet the income guidelines and your child:

  • is 3 years old through the year prior to kindergarten eligibility.
  • has a current IEP
  • is a foster child
  • is currently living with a parent or the child is receiving SSI/SSD
  • is eligible for TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families)
  • is currently homeless


complete application must include a copy of the following documentation:

  • Income Verification – Documentation must reflect your current economic status and must include all sources of income received by the child’s parent / guardian such as: Current pay stub, letter from employer, latest income tax return or W-2, unemployment income, worker’s compensation, child support, TANF, disability income, proof of foster care, etc.
  • Your Child’s Current Immunization (Shot) Record

Submitting application

If you need help completing the application, please contact your local Head Start option.

Applications can be dropped off at your local Head Start option or mailed to:
Northern Tier Community Action Corporation-Head Start
PO Box 389
Emporium, PA 15834

Contact List

(814) 486-1161

  • General Information / Secretary

    Ext. 219

  • Director

    Ext. 220

  • Family and Community Manager / Enrollment


  • Education Manager

    Ext. 230

  • Education Manager

    Ext. 222

  • Pre-K / HSSAP

    Ext. 230

  • Bookkeeper

    Ext. 270

  • Health and Nutrition Manager

    Ext. 225

  • Education Services Manager

    Ext. 231


Head Start Program Centers

Bradford I Center
20 Russell Blvd.
Bradford, PA 16701
Phone: (814) 368-4809
Class Hours: 8:30-2:30
Bradford II Center
24 West Corydon St.
Bradford, PA 16701
Phone: (814) 368-8551
Class Hours: 9:30-3:00
Bradford III Center
20 Russell Blvd.
Bradford, PA 16701
Phone: (814) 363-9265
Class Hours: 8:30-2:30
Coudersport Center
165 Route 6 West
Coudersport, PA 16915
Phone: (814) 274-7017
Class Hours: 8:30-2:30
Eldred Center
158-160 Main St.
P.O.Box 631
Eldred, PA 16731
Phone: (814) 225-2200
Class Hours: 8:30-2:00
Emporium Center
Woodland Elem. School
603 Woodland Ave.
Emporium, PA 15834
Phone: (814) 486-4000 Ext. 2054
Class Hours: 8:45-2:15
Johnsonburg Center
607 Center St.
P.O. Box 233
Johnsonburg, PA 15845
Phone: (814) 965-5627
Class Hours: 9:00-2:30
Kane I Center
226 Chestnut St.
Kane, PA 16735
Phone: (814) 837-9392
Class Hours: 8:30-2:30
Kane II Center
226 Chestnut St.
Kane, PA 16735
Phone: (814) 837-8068
Class Hours: 8:30-2:00
Port Allegany I Center
504 N. Main St.
Port Allegany, PA 16743
Phone: (814) 642-2807
Class Hours: 8:30-2:30
Port Allegany II Center
Port Allegany Elem. School
85 Clyde Lynch Dr.
Port Allegany, PA 16743
Phone: (814) 642-9557 Opt. 6
Class Hours: 8:30-2:00
Ridgway Center
315 Center St.
Ridgway, PA 15853
Phone: (814) 772-4030
Class Hours: 8:30-2:30
St. Marys Center
North Star Properties
513 E. Arch St.
St. Marys, PA 15857
Phone: (814) 781-7776
Class Hours: 8:30-2:30