Frequently asked Questions About Our Program

Q: What is Head Start?

A: Head Start is an education center-based program for children ages 3 to 5 years old, who attend a class with 16 other children (17 children total). BTHS, Inc. has 19 classrooms located in Bradford and Tioga counties. Head Start classrooms operate from the end of August to the beginning of June (school year). Each classroom is 5.5 or 5.75 hours/day, 5 days/week (180 school day). Head Start is designed to work on school readiness skills such as physical, social, emotional, and intellectual development skills to prepare children for school.

Q: What is Early Head Start?

A: Early Head Start is a home-based program for pregnant women and children, birth to age 3. Family Partners visit children and families throughout Bradford and Tioga counties. Early Head Start is a year-round program. A Family Partner would come to the home once a week for 90 minutes to work with you and your child. Early Head Start is designed to enhance children’s physical, social, emotional, and intellectual development. (Early Head Start is a “Pre-preschool)

Q: How much does it cost?

A: All BTHS, Inc. programs are offered at NO COST to all families!

Q: How do I apply?

A: The first step to apply is to fill out our Pre-Application/Referral form. This is the basic information staff will use to contact you to start the application process. Once a staff member receives your information, they will contact you within 30 days. If your address or phone number changes, please notify us immediately at 570-638-1400. Staff make every effort to contact you 3 times before the referral will be considered void, then a new referral will need to be completed.

Q: I filled out/submitted a Pre-Application/Referral for my child, now what?

A: Once a Pre-Application/Referral has been submitted, the information will be sent to the appropriate staff. Staff will make every effort to contact you to start the application process. If you do not hear from a BTHS, Inc. staff member within 30 days, please call our Central Office at 570-638-1400.

Q: What happens after I complete the application:

A: Once you have completed an application with BTHS, Inc. staff and provided the necessary documents, the application will be reviewed and processed at Central Office. Once processed, the child is added to the waitlist. Waitlists are generated by a computer software program that assigns points based on a child’s age, income, and other factors. Once the application has been added to a waitlist, a parent/guardian will receive a letter in the mail.

Q: How long is the waitlist?

A: Lengths of waitlists differ from classroom to classroom and can change daily as applications are continuously completed.

Q: How do I know if my child is eligible?

A: Every child and family is potentially eligible. All families are encouraged to apply, as waitlists vary from classroom to classroom. Income only determines WHEN your child will be enrolled, not IF your child will be enrolled. You will never know if you don’t apply!

Q: How will I know if there is an opening?

A: If/when there is an opening, families are contacted by Family Advocates or Family Partners following a ranked waitlist. All program openings are filled within 30 days.

Q: What are the hours for the classrooms?

  • Athens 1- 8:00am-1:45pm
  • Athens 2- 8:00am-1:45pm
  • Athens 3 (Lynch-Bustin Elementary School)- 9:45am-3:15am
  • Blossburg 1- 8:00am-1:45pm
  • Blossburg 2- (Blossburg Elementary School)- 8:00am-1:30pm
  • Canton 1- 8:00am-1:45pm
  • Canton 2- (Canton Elementary School)- 8:30am-2:00pm
  • Elkland 1- 8:30am-2:15pm
  • Elkland 2- 8:30am-2:15pm
  • Mansfield- (Warren L. Miller Elementary School)- 9:30am-3:00pm
  • Northeast Bradford 1- (Northeast Bradford Elementary School)- 9:30am-3:00pm
  • Northeast Bradford 2­­- (Northeast Bradford Elementary School)- 9:30am-3:00pm
  • Towanda- 9:30am-3:00pm
  • Troy 1- 8:00am-1:45pm
  • Troy 2- 8:00am-1:45pm
  • Wellsboro- 8:00am-1:45pm
  • Wyalusing- 8:00am-1:30pm

Q: Do you offer transportation?

A: Transportation is offered to some center-based Head Start classrooms. There are designated bus stops, which do not include house-to-house stops. Bus stops are developed to accommodate those who need transportation.

Q: Do you offer naptime?

A: A specific naptime is not offered. However, quiet learning is built into the daily schedule to offer the children a “break”. If a child falls asleep during school hours, they will be allowed to sleep. Each classroom has a cozy corner where children can spend quiet time by themselves.

Q: Do you offer meals?

A: Yes. Breakfast and lunch are provided daily. BTHS, Inc. participates in CACFP (Child and Adult Care Food Program), which is a federal program that provides reimbursements for nutritious meals and snacks to eligible children and adults who are enrolled for care at participating childcare centers, day care homes, and adult day care centers. Children enrolled in Early Head Start are provided a snack during their socialization each month.

Q: Can snacks be brought into the classroom?

A: Outside food is not allowed to be brought into any classroom or Early Head Start socialization. Breakfast and lunch are provided to all children enrolled in Head Start classrooms each day, and snacks are provided are every Early Head Stat monthly socialization.

Q: What will my child need to attend?

A: Everything your child will need for school will be provided by the program. If you would like to provide a backpack for your child, you can, or we can help with that. Backpacks are used to exchange and send home notes, newsletters, and other items from BTHS, Inc. staff. All other materials (pencils, crayons, toys, etc.) are provided by BTHS, Inc.

Q: Do you offer before school and/or after school care?

A: BTHS, Inc. does not offer before or after school care hours. The Family Advocate for your classroom can assist you in finding other programs in the area that offer before and/or after school care.