Early Education in Berks County
Risk and reach in your county:
- Children are at Moderate-High risk of school failure in this county
- 33% of children (birth-age 5) participate in publicly-funded quality early education
- Download and print Berks County’s ECE profile page (pdf)
Source: PA Office of Child Development and Early Learning – Click here
What’s happening in Berks County
Events in Berks County:
Guest readers throughout Pennsylvania are reading the 2017 PA One Book selection, Daniel Finds a Poem by author Micha Archer in early learning programs. Glenn Miller, Deputy Secretary for Commonwealth Libraries/State Librarian, read the PA One Book, Daniel Finds a Poem, to children at the Coyle Library in Chambersburg on April 18, 2017. Deputy Secretary, Matthew Stem from the PA Office of Elementary/Secondary Education read Daniel Finds a Poem Read more...
Help count down to the 2017 PA One Book! We're exploring the past PA One Book selections! Follow PA One Book on Facebook and PA One Book on Instagram to get fun activities to do with your child and the PA One Book classic, watch the video of the author reading the book, and share your experiences with the book. Check back each day Read more...
Please submit your local events!
Local resources and LEARN partners:
Child care/early learning programs:
- Search for child care/early learning programs, including Keystone STARS, PA Pre-K Counts, Head Start, licensed nursery schools, and Early Intervention in your community. You can also view or submit complaints about a child care program.
Family support resources:
- Autism Support Groups in PA, listed alphabetically by county
- Include Me is a collection of three programs all about inclusive education for students with developmental and intellectual disabilities.
Financial assistance and human services:
- Find a food pantry near you with Ending Hunger in PA.
- PA 2-1-1 is a statewide collaborative for health and human service information for Pennsylvanians. This easy to remember 2-1-1 phone number will link PA residents with human services throughout Pennsylvania.
- PAsummermeals.com: A searchable map for the locations of federally-funded free summer meals in Pennsylvania. NOTE: This site takes some time to load.
- Find out if you qualify for and apply for benefits like Medicaid, SNAP (Food Stamps) Children’s health Insurance (CHIP), and Child Care Works (CCIS) assistance for child care expenses – link to main COMPASS site.
- Women, Infants, Children (WIC) – WIC provides healthy supplemental foods and nutrition services for pregnant women, postpartum and breastfeeding women, infants and children under age five. Find your nearest WIC office.
- PA County Resource Guide by the Juvenile Law Center – includes links for a variety of services including housing, health, recreation, and emergency numbers.
- The CCIS office for Berks County is CCIS of Berks County
- FamilyWize can help you save up to 75% on prescription medication by printing a FREE prescription card and showing it to your pharmacist.
- Pennsylvania Healthy Corner Store Initiative: The Pennsylvania Department of Health is committed to increasing access to healthy food and beverage options, and partnering with retailers on the Pennsylvania Healthy Corner Store Initiative (HCSI). This initiative connects store owners with resources to increase availability of healthy foods in corner stores, and offer consumers fresher, nutritious food options.
- List of Pennsylvania Family Centers (PDF) – provide a number of family and community services such as family support and information groups, child health and development screenings, In-home child development sessions, and toy- and book-lending libraries.
- Literacy Council of Reading/Berks (West Lawn): 610.670.9960
- Reading Area Community College (Reading): 610.372.4721 ext. 5120
- Reading Area SD Family Literacy Program (Reading): 610.370.8540 ext. 60218
- YWCA Tri-County Area (Pottstown): 610.326.7323
- Distance Learning Project Lewistown: 717.248.4942, x107
- MyGED: Create an account, get GED® study materials and take a practice test. Access information on the test, step-by-step guidance, and tips for after you graduate.
- Literacy Directory: A clearinghouse of adult basic education programs in the country.
- PA Adult Education Resources: Adult Education Programs funded by Pennsylvania Department of Education.
Libraries for families:
Local school districts:
- Find your school district search. Enter your address and click “find my municipality” and your school district will also appear.
- Listing of school districts, intermediate units, and higher education institutions in PA. Click on your county for links.
Additional Area Supports
- Centro Hispano (Hispanic Center) supports and enhances the acculturation of the Latino population in the Greater Reading area through collaborative initiatives designed to enable individuals to improve their quality of life and the quality of life in their communities.
- YMCA of Reading and Berks County has Baby University, offering parenting classes for parents of children birth-5 years old. The Y-Haven provides assistance for homeless mothers with one child to help them get back on their feet.
- Mary’s Shelter offers assistance to mothers who are experiencing homelessness.
- Lifeline provides counseling for pregnant women and mothers, and also offers a small clothing and food bank.
Stories from your neighbors:
Stories in Berks County:
A Berks County family participating in the Nurse-Family Partnership shared this: "I had no idea what to expect when I was pregnant. I've learned so much from having a nurse come to my home. If it wasn't for them I would have been completely clueless on what to do. I would only have had my grandmother who had five kids over fifty years ago. I've even given friends tips on things I've learned because they've asked Read more...
A mother participating in the Nurse-Family Partnership in Berks County wrote this: "My nurses have helped me a lot. They have helped me learn things that she (my child) should do and good things to do for her. They helped me with questions and helped me get my baby to an Read more...
Berks County families share their experiences with the Nurse-Family Partnership: "Home visitation has helped me a lot as a first time mom. It helped me see how I can help my child grow. Also, when I was pregnant it helped me see how my child was growing inside and how to avoid what was not good for me and my baby. Thanks to this program I am well informed." Want fun learning activities for your Read more...
A mother participating in the Nurse-Family Partnership in Berks County shared this: "The Nurse-Family Partnership program has been a BIG help for me because I am a first time mom with nobody in this city (family) to ask for help with all my questions in this new stage of my life. So for me this program is the best thing that could happen for me. My nurse is the best! She helps me with all of Read more...
A mother participating in the Nurse-Family Partnership in Berks County had this to say: "I like the program because it has helped me become a wonderful mother. My nurse is an amazing person. She has helped me and taught me so much about babies. I like that she has been with Read more...
A mother participating in the Nurse-Family Partnership in Berks County shared this: "This program has really helped me and my daughter in many ways. I love how this program helps first-time moms get ready for motherhood. This program is just wonderful." Want fun learning activities for your child delivered to your inbox? Sign up for the free newsletter! Read more...
A mother participating in the Nurse-Family Partnership in Berks County wrote this: "I am very grateful for this program as well as the nurse that has been with me throughout the time so far. I have learned a lot along the way to help myself, as well as my baby. I always look forward to every visit." Want fun learning activities for your child delivered to your inbox? Sign up for the free Read more...
A parent participating in the Berks County Nurse-Family Partnership shared this: "Since starting this program I've learned a lot that I did not know. Being pregnant was sort of a scary experience but with the help of the Nurse-Family Partnership Read more...
A parent participating in the Berks County Nurse-Family Partnership shared this: "I'm very glad I joined the Nurse-Family Partnership. This was my first pregnancy and having a history of anxiety , I was extremely nervous about the whole thing. It was reassuring to know I would be able to call my nurse whenever I had a question about my pregnancy and/or my child. Doctor's appointments were typically a few weeks apart and sometimes it's hard to get Read more...
They have helped me learn a lot of things I would never thought to do as give my child a sippy cup early to help her transition better as she becomes older. Also giving me lots of information to help her learn and grow better. Also I love getting her weight checked to see how much she has grown each visit. I am so happy I decided to do this program because it has really helped Read more...
Did you know that babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergartners can start learning mathematical concepts before they even know what numbers are? (Numbers like pi 3.14!) Start your child on a life-long path of math by trying these activities: Provide plastic bowls, pots, wooden spoons for your baby to explore while you're cooking. Describe the sizes and the number of items. Give your toddler plastic measuring cups. Show him how to stack the cups on top of Read more...
Looking for a great children's book to celebrate National Puppy Day (March 23, 2017), or just a great dog book? Check out these favorites from PA's Promise for Children! Click here to print this list. Take the list to your library and ask the librarian to help you and your child find the books. Once you read each book, have your child circle the book! What is YOUR favorite book about dogs? Did it make Read more...
A graduate of the Nurse-Family Partnership program shared this note to her nurse. I just wanted to let you know that I finished college and I would not have done so without you. Thank you so much for all your love and support. You have forever touched and changed my life. And I miss ya. Hope all is well. Tiona Read more...
On July 29, 2015 the PA Key staff celebrated with The White House and the U.S. Department of Education to launch a day of action to raise awareness about the importance of reading where you are over the remaining days and weeks of summer before school starts. #ReadWhereYouAre highlights that reading over the summer makes a difference during the school year. When students are able to keep reading, they can keep learning, catch up, stay sharp and Read more...
I would like to tell you how important the Head Start program has been to me and my family. My oldest son is now 29 years old. We know now that he is on the autism spectrum. He was born prematurely and had developmental delays. I was told those delays were a result of his prematurity. When my second son was born, thirteen months later, I began to realize how delayed my oldest son was. We Read more...
I have been involved in early childhood education for about 13 years. I am currently a Supervising Infant and Toddler teacher at a wonderful STAR 5, NAEYC accredited center. I enjoy making an impact each day in the lives of the children, families and staff that I work with. I have two children of my own, 4 and 2 years old. My mother has watched my children since they were babies as my husband and I were Read more...
When my daughter Myleigh began PA Pre-K Counts Preschool Program I was very apprehensive as to how the experience would be for her. The previous year she was enrolled in a two - half day a week program through an Early Interventions program. Myleigh had/has a significant speech delay and has had a lot of struggles and frustration when communicating with others either because they couldn't understand her or she just didn't know how to put Read more...
Our story began almost four years ago, with our eldest daughter Aurora. She was enrolled in the YMCA PA Pre-K Counts Program at age 3. She absolutely loved it and learned so many wonderful things, she always loves to go back for visits. Which is why we decided to stay with the school and enroll Lyliana 2 yrs ago. She is now 5 and has been there since she was 3. She loves her teachers Read more...
What do sleepy babies, tired toddlers, yawning preschoolers, and cranky kindergartners have in common? They might not want to go to sleep at bedtime! Each child is different, but babies up to two years old may need nearly 11 hours of sleep a night, while preschoolers and kindergarteners may need 10 hours each night! Having a bedtime routine, or activities you do every night, can make a difference between a Read more...
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