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Early Childhood Education

Contact:  Denise Knedeisen at 724-219-2312 or dknedeisen@wiu7.org
 
What is Early Intervention?
Early Intervention (EI) in Pennsylvania consists of services and supports designed to help families with children who have developmental delays or disabilities.  Early Intervention builds upon the natural learning occurring in those first few years.  It is a process that promotes collaboration among parents, service providers, and others significantly involved with your child.
 
Early Intervention:
  • Helps children with disabilities develop and learn to their fullest potential
  • Enhances each family's capacity to meet the developmental needs of their child in the settings where children would be if they did not have a disability
  • Respects the family's strengths, values, diversity and competencies and answer families' questions about their child's development
  • Supports communities to become more aware of the gifts and abilities of all its children
  • Helps prevent the need for more and costly intervention in the future
 
Information referenced above and in following sections are copied in part from “A Family’s Introduction to Early Intervention in Pennsylvania”.  Please visit the PaTTAN website for additional information and resources. 'https://www.pattan.net/Publications/A-Family-s-Introduction-to-Early-Intervention-in-P

 

Click below for more information:

How can I refer my child for an evaluation?

Families with infants and toddlers from birth to three (3) years of age may call Westmoreland Casemanagement and Supports (WCSI) at 724-837-1808 or 1-800-353-6467.

 

Families with a child between the ages of three (3) and five (5) years (who is not attending a school-age program), may call Westmoreland Intermediate Unit’s Early Intervention Program at 724-836-2460.

 

Referrals can be made by parents, doctors, teachers, childcare providers, or others that are involved with the child and have concerns.

What are early intervention supports and services

Early Intervention supports and services are provided at no cost to families.  EI services can include: information about how children develop, parent or caregiver education, family supports, and developmental and instructional therapies that assist in child development.  EI is individualized and provides supports to the child and family at home and in the community, and is individualized to enhance the child's growing and learning.  When a child attends an early care and education setting, EI can assist the early childhood staff with strategies to promote the child's development.  EI can also assist families to link to a variety of community services and supports.  You are the expert about your child.  The recommendations or suggestions that you have for your child and family are uniquely yours.  Sharing them with other members on your EI team allows others to know what is important to your family.  This information will help your EI team to create meaningful individualized services and supports.
 

How do I find Early Childhood programs and Child Care centers in my area?

For information regarding local early childhood programs and child care centers visit https://www.compass.state.pa.us/
 

Helpful On-line Resources

Local Libraries Promote Early Literacy and Early Learning
 
Local libraries promote early literacy and learning through a variety of free programs and resources for young children and families including:
  • Story times for specific age groups ranging from birth to five years (these programs often include songs, nursery rhymes, finger plays, and large picture books to engage infants and young children in learning)
  • Special and seasonal programs for families
  • Author visits and/or activities associated with PA One Book/Every Young Child initiative
  • Summer reading programs for infants through elementary school age children
  • Children's resource library including picture books, preschool learning books, educational computer games, books on tape, children's magazines, educational play kits, etc.
  • Movie matinees/movie nights 
Contact your local library for program schedule and resources or visit https://kids.powerlibrary.org/
 
The Early Learning GPS is an online interactive website that helps families learn the most important things they need to know and can do to help their young child grow.  Parents responses help to customize tips and resources--click link above to go to website
Click on the link above to find information about Head Start Programs in Westmoreland County operated through Seton Hill Child Services, Inc. (724-836-0099) and Westmoreland Community Action (724-834-1260)
Click on the link above to find research-based resources, tips and ideas for families
Click on the link above or call 1-888-727-2706 for help linking families of children and adults with disabilities or special needs
Click on the link above for information and resources for families