Childcare & Preschool Options
Looking for childcare or preschool? Families in Centre County with young children have a wide range of options for child care and early education. See below for more information about types of programs, quality issues, and paying for care.
Types of Programs
The county Child Care Information Services (CCIS) office provides information for families looking for childcare, including lists of programs that meet family-specified criteria. CCIS also processes applications for child care financial assistance from the State based on eligibility guidelines. Visit their website at www.centreccis.org.
Family Daycare Homes
Child care provided by a person in his or her own home. Registration with the PA Department of Public Welfare is required for anyone providing care for 3 or more children (other than their own). Maximum number of children allowed in care at any one time is 6. Family providers set their own rates, policies, and hours.
To find registered family daycare homes in Centre County, visit humanservices.state.pa.us.
Group Daycare Homes
Child care provided by a person and one or more assistants in his or her own home, for up to 12 children at one time. These programs are certified by the PA Department of Public Welfare.
To find certified group daycare homes in Centre County, visit humanservices.state.pa.us.
Child care provided outside of a home setting. Certification by the PA Department of Public Welfare is required, and centers are inspected annually to be sure they meet State requirements. Daycare centers vary widely in size, programming, and cost. Some are privately owned, some are owned and operated by corporations, and others are non-profit.
To find certified daycare centers in Centre County, visit humanservices.state.pa.us
Private Nursery/Academic Preschools
These preschool programs are regulated by the PA Department of Education, State Board of Private Academic Schools. They are often ½ day programs for 3 and 4 year olds and are privately owned or operated by religious organizations. Tuition rates are set by the owner/operator.
To find Private Academic/Nursery Preschools in Centre County, visit humanservices.state.pa.us
Free half-day and full-day pre-kindergarten programs for 3 and 4 year olds who qualify by income and other special needs. Contact information for Centre County Pre-K Counts programs:
The Bennet Center
Enrollment Contact: Wendy Whitesell
Phone: (814) 865-4057 (814) 865-4057
Cen-Clear Child Services Inc
Enrollment Contact: LeeAnn Whitaker
Phone: (814) 342-5678 (814) 342-5678 x2233
Child Dev Family Council of Centre Co
Enrollment Contact: Paula Thornbloom
Phone: (814) 238-5480 (814) 238-5480 x20
Head Start/Early Head Start
Free infant, toddler, and preschool programs funded by the federal government to provide services to young children and their families who qualify by income. The local provider for Head Start and Early Head Start is Cen-Clear Child Services www.cenclear.org
Relatives or neighbors can legally care for up to 3 children at a time in their own home and are not required to be licensed or regulated. Preschool programs operated by religious organizations are not required to be licensed or regulated, although many choose to be.
Improving the quality of early care and education programs in Pennsylvania through:
- Training/Professional Development
The Keystone STARS Performance Standards provide the foundation for the program. The Performance Standards are grouped into four levels: STAR 1, STAR 2, STAR 3, and STAR 4.
Each level builds on the previous level and utilizes research-based best practices to promote quality early learning environments and positive child outcomes. The standards address staff qualifications and professional development, the early learning program, partnerships with family and community, and leadership and management.
Keystone STARS is managed through a partnership of the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) and the Pennsylvania and Regional Keys.
SEARCH FOR STARS FACILITIES
Click here to find a STARS facility near you.