Resources for Families

Early Learning Programs


The following early learning programs are PEAK educational partners. Each site participates in the Keystone STARS quality improvement system and provides high quality early learning experiences for the Pottstown area families. Additional community early learning partners will be added to the PEAK Partnership as the initiative expands.


KinderCare Learning Center
1550 Industrial Highway
Pottstown, PA 19464
610-326-0554

Montgomery Early Learning Centers
150 North Hanover Street
Pottstown, PA 19464
610-326-3819
http://www.melc.org

Montgomery County Head Start
Pottstown Center
301 King Street
Pottstown, PA 19464
610-326-1050

Montgomery County Head Start
Ricketts Head Start
Ricketts Community Center
Beech and Grant Streets
Pottstown, PA 19464
610-323-4470

Freedom Valley YMCA at Pottstown
724 North Adams Street
Pottstown, PA 19464
610-323-7300
http://www.fvymca.org/

Warwick Child Care Center
145 West Urner Street
Pottstown, PA 19464
610-323-1601

YWCA Tri-County Area
315 King Street
Pottstown, PA 19464
610-323-1888

 

Choosing a Quality Early Learning Program

A high-quality early learning program can help children in many ways including getting ready for Kindergarten. These tips can help you choose a preschool that can help prepare your child for school.

What is Quality?
Quality child care will offer your child a stimulating, nurturing environment which should help prepare them for school and to reach his or her full potential. Quality care environments far exceed minimum standards set by the state and provide a stimulating, loving atmosphere in which your child will mentally, socially, emotionally and physically thrive.

Characteristics of Quality
Small group sizes and adult-to-child ratios encourage the best opportunities for a child's development.

Caregivers or teaches who have experience and education in early childhood development.

Opportunities for meaningful parent involvement.

Learning materials and teaching styles that are age-appropriate and respectful of children's cultural and ethnic heritage.

Learning opportunities that promote your child's success in school. Participation in accrediting program such as Keystone STARS.*

Additional Tips on Choosing a Preschool

  • Ask about the teachers.
    What educational backgrounds do they have? Are they trained to work with this age group? Is the staff stable or does it change constantly? How many children are there for each teacher? Do the teachers show warmth, respect, and interest in each child?
  • Ask about the program.
    Does it allow time for individual and group activities and offer a variety of activities and materials? Are there intellectually stimulating activities as well as enjoyable ones? Is there time for outdoor as well as indoor play?
  • Look at the classroom.
    Are all areas, indoors and outdoors, clearly safe? Are there distinct areas for reading, playing and participating in group activities? Does the room look inviting? Is the noise level generally pleasing? Is there a comfortable enclosed space where a child can calm down away from the crowd?
  • Observe the children.
    Do most of the children seem happy and truly absorbed in their activities most of the time? Are the classroom rules fair and consistently applied? Does the teacher help misbehaving children reflect on how to act next time, saying clearly what behavior she expects?
  • Find out whether the school encourages parent involvement. Does the teacher discuss the child's progress with parents at scheduled times as well as informal times?**

Pottstown Keystone STARS Programs

Keystone STARS is the continuous quality improvement for early learning programs in Pennsylvania. There are four STAR levels that denote quality in the area of the education and training of staff, instructional environment, the leadership/management and family/community partnerships.

The following Pottstown early learning sites are participating in Keystone STARS quality improvement initiative.

  • KinderCare Learning Center
  • Montgomery Early Learning Centers
  • Pottstown Family YMCA
  • YWCA Tri-County Area
  • Warwick Child Care Center
  • Montgomery County Head Start, which meets federal Head Start quality standards, also offers high quality instructional programming.

 

*Child Care Information Services Agency: A Parent's Guide to Choosing Quality Child Care

**Illinois Early Learning Project