The Head Start program provides pre-kindergarten and home-based programs for children ages 3–5. Designed to give children a head start in life, all programs promote school readiness by enhancing the social and cognitive development of children and by providing educational, health, nutritional, social, and other services to enrolled children and families.

Capital Area Head Start engages parents in their children’s learning and helps them make progress toward their educational, literacy, and employment goals. Significant emphasis is placed on the involvement of parents in the administration of local Head Start programs.

Head Start is offered in Cumberland, Dauphin, and Perry Counties.

Center Based Programs

Capital Area Head Start offers a variety of center programs. All of our centers provide meals, safe learning environments, as well as comprehensive school readiness programs.

Granite Street Center
The Granite Street Center serves children in the City of Harrisburg and offers half-day preschool for children ages 3–5 during the school year. Programs are specialized for families experiencing incarceration. The participating families receive two home visits and two parent-teacher conferences.
The maximum class size is thirteen children.
Martin Luther King Jr. Center
The Martin Luther King Jr. Center offers one class of specialized programming for families experiencing homelessness. Programming is offered three days a week for five hours each day and runs for the school year from mid-September through early June. Six home visits and two parent-teacher conferences are included. Staff also conduct educational workshops at area shelters.
Pre-K Counts Program
The Pre-K Counts program is a state-funded preschool program offered at Downey, Camp Curtin, and Foose schools in Harrisburg, and Steelton-Highspire Elementary School in Steelton. Offered during the school year from August to June, the program operates five days per week for five hours each day.
All of our Pre-K Counts teachers have a Pennsylvania teaching certificate in early childhood education, with a maximum class size of sixteen children.
Three home visits and two parent-teacher conferences are included in the program.
Preschool Programs
Capital Area Head Start offers preschool for six hours, 5 days a week during the school year for children ages 3–5. This full-day preschool is offered at the Carlisle Center, the Hamilton Health Center, Harrisburg Area Community College, Martin Luther King Jr. Center, Newport School, Susquenita School, Upper Dauphin School, and Tri-Community School.
Half-Day Preschool
Half-Day Preschool is offered 4–5 days a week for three and a half hours each day. Classes follow the school year schedule and run from September through early June. Children attend a morning or afternoon session. Teachers in this program conduct three home visits and three parent-teacher conferences.
Half-Day Preschool is offered at the Granite and Lang Manor centers and at Tri-Community, Scott, and Fink schools.

Home Based Programs

Head Start Home Based
Home visitors provide services to children in their homes in Cumberland, Dauphin, and Perry Counties. Parents and home visitors work together to provide individualized learning activities for the child using in-home materials. Home visits occur three times per month and last one and a half hours. The program runs during the school year from September through May. Children also have the opportunity to participate in a weekly class day with other children. Class days last three and a half hours and include meals.