News and Events
Early Connections West Ridge
5739 West Ridge Road, Building C
Accepting enrollments for infants through preschool
Hours: Monday through Friday
7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Tuition assistance for eligible families
Blaze Pizza Fundraising Night!
Take a picture of this flyer and present it at Blaze Pizza on Dec. 11th 4-8 pm to support our high quality early care and education centers!
Chipotle Fundraiser Night!
Take a picture of this flyer right now and present it at Chipotle Nov. 12th 4-8pm to support Early Connections!
Tonight is the night! —- VINYL PALOOZA 4.0
Thursday, Sept. 21st
5 to 10 PM at 21 la rue dix, 21 W. 10th Street, Erie PA
Join us for a fun-filled night of amazing music from an incredible collection of classic and new vinyl record albums played on a state of the art sound system. From 60s oldies and awesome 80s to today’s hits, spinning live…..doors open at 5 PM! Evening also includes spectacular basket raffles, 50-50 raffle, Music Trivia contest, & more! Open to the public, 21 and over. Tickets can be purchased through
Eventbrite for $10 or $15 at the door.
United Way Erie FREE Taxes Positions Available
United Way Erie FREE Taxes is seeking temporary, part time tax filing site coordinators. These are tax site supervisory positions available in Erie, Corry, and Union City. PA. Please consider applying to continue the great work of Erie FREE Taxes in the Erie Community!
Early Connections CDA Hybrid e-course starting soon!
Early Connections is now accepting registrations for a Hybrid CDA course which starts on September 14th. This course will include 6 face to face sessions in addition to online coursework. The Early Connections CDA syllabus is created so each portfolio requirement is assigned and completed during the course. The candidate will have a completed Professional Portfolio ready for the CDA PD Specialist and classroom observation at the completion of the coursework. This course offering is made possible, in part, with the support of OCDEL, PA Key and the Northwest Regional Key. Registration for the Early Connections CDA Hybrid e-Course Fall 2017 (flyer) is online at www.pakeys.org.
Thank you, Erie Downtown Partnership!
Early Connections was one of the downtown businesses that proudly received a $2,595 Façade Improvement Grant from the Erie Downtown Partnership. The Façade Improvement Grant money currently awarded to businesses downtown totaled $15,000. This grant will help provide the funds needed to replace the windows at our City Center location. City Center’s window installation is scheduled for October.
Early Connections City Center is located at 704 State Street, and serves children from families that work and live in the downtown area. The new windows will:
1. Improve the appearance of the State Street side, eliminating current peeling paint and weather-damaged wood frames.
2. Improve energy efficiency by installation of windows designed for this purpose that have efficient insulating properties.
3. Improve children’s safety using windows that are the most up-to-date and resistant to damage.
Over the next few years, as funding sources become available, it is our intention to replace the remainder of the windows on all sides.
Above picture, from left to right: Chris Mong, Director of Economic and Community Development for the City of Erie; Michelle Harkins, Associate Executive Director, Early Connections; John Buchna, CEO of the Erie Downtown Partnership, Alex Kanonczyk, property owner at 418-420 State Street; and Jeff Kidder, Architect and Partner, Kidder Wachter Design.
PA Pre-K Counts – Openings Available!
Early Connections City Center has a few PA Pre-K Counts openings available. Pre-K Counts is a FREE preschool program for 3 & 4 year old children. We have both morning and afternoon spots available.
Eligibility requirements: are between age 3 and younger than the entry age for kindergarten; live in a family earning up to 300% of poverty such as a family of four earning $72,900; and may also have language (English is not your first language), a disability or developmental delay, or other issues that make them at risk for failing in school.
For more information or to schedule a visit to our Pre-K Counts classrooms please call 456-4576 or email [email protected]
Thank you! UPMC Health Plan
Early Connections is very thankful to their partners, UPMC Health Plan, for donating $40,000 through the Neighborhood Assistance Program. This funding will be used to provide high-quality curriculum in each of the Early Connections classrooms throughout Erie County, delivering the best early learning opportunities for children to become better prepared for success in school, and life.
Pictured (L-R): Darlene Kovacs, Executive Director, Early Connections; Jenny Weigold Geertson, Senior Manager, Regional Community Relations and Marketing Operations, UPMC Health Plan; Michelle Harkins, Associate Executive Director, Early Connections.
Thank You Happi 92.7!
Early Connections would like to thank Happi 92.7 and the Millcreek Mall for hosting the first gingerbread house decorating contest! We loved seeing local nonprofits and the community come together to share the enjoyment of this fun event!
PreK Counts spots available now!
Erie BANK supports Preschool Scholarships in Erie County
Our sincere thanks to Erie BANK for their donation to Erie’s Future Fund Preschool Scholarship Program. The Erie’s Future Fund preschool scholarship program, administered by Early Connections, provides Pre-K scholarships for income eligible families in more than 40 preschool programs throughout Erie County.
Pictured left to right: Bill DeLuca, Senior Vice President at Erie Bank, Darlene Kovacs, Executive Director of Early Connections, and Katie Jones, Assistant Vice President at Erie Bank
Thank you to Erie Insurance Group for their generous donation to Erie’s Future Fund.
Administered by Early Connections, Erie’s Future Fund provides scholarships for eligible children to attend half day preschool classes at more than 40 different early childhood programs throughout Erie County.
Pictured from left to right are Darlene Kovacs, Executive Director of Early Connections, Kimberly Beers, Scholarship Director, Erie’s Future Fund, and Ann Scott, Manager of Community Outreach & Human Resources at Erie Insurance Group.
UnifiedErie Youth Work Awards
Congratulations to Theresa Williams for having been recognized at the UnifiedErie Youth Awards ceremony on May 4th, 2017. The UnifiedErie Youth Work Awards exists to honor the amazing adults in our community that work directly with children and youth under the age of 18 at non-profit agencies in Erie County. Youth workers are often the unsung heroes of the youth within our communities. These are the individuals who have a direct impact on the lives of our youth. They often wear many hats- mentor, educator, counselor, and friend.
Kiwanis Club of Erie Visits Early Connections- Harbor Homes
Early Connections staff and children were thankful to the Kiwanis Club of Erie for donating two rocking chairs that will be used at the Early Connections Harbor Homes location. The Kiwanis were invited to read to the children; each child also received a book from Hooked on Books for Kids and the Erie Kiwanis!
Pictured with children from left to right: Ms. Michelle, Early Connections staff; Bill Sapone, Kiwanis of Erie President; Linda Smalley, Hooked on Books for Kids and Kiwanis Club of Erie; Cathy Szymanski, Kiwanis Club of Erie; Joe Murphy, Kiwanis Club of Erie; and Early Connections staff Ms. Sarah, Ms. Julie, and Ms. Kelly.
American Tinning & Galvanizing Supports Erie’s Future Fund Scholarship Program
American Tinning and Galvanizing 2016 – Thank you! Erie’s Future Fund is grateful to receive a $22,000 Pre-K EITC donation from American Tinning and Galvanizing! Proceeds will help Erie’s Future Fund’s Summer Scholars, a program that provides Read the rest of this entry »
Lilly Broadcasting Donates to Erie’s Future Fund Scholarship Program
Thank you Lilly Broadcasting, for the $2,500 Pre-K EITC donation! Proceeds will help Erie’s Future Fund’s Summer Scholars, a program that provides scholarships for children from low-income families to attend high-quality programs that offer educational activities and nutritious meals during their attendance in the summer Read the rest of this entry »
- “I know they have my children’s best interest at heart.”
- “They really show individual attention to all the children.”
- “They come home tired and full of stories of what they’ve learned”
- “My son has attended Early Connections in Union City since Preschool. I still remember the
- It’s Clear She’s Learning
- Caring, Nurturing Staff – I Will Always Remain Grateful
- Thank You!
- All the Good Things She’s Learned
- Teachers are Friendly
- Clean, Happy Environment
VINYL PALOOZA 4.0
Early Connections Extends It’s Sincere Appreciation to the Following Sponsors:
Kiwanis Club of Erie
The Plazony Family Foundation
Times Publishing Company
The Sunflower Club
Presque Isle Downs & Casino
Rep. Flo and Vicki Fabrizio
Rep. Pat and Michelle Harkins
Dr. Paul and Darlene Kovacs
Mike and LeeAnn Thomas
Sean and Kimberly Beers
ERIEBANK is proud to support the Early Connections Vinyl Palooza 3.0 –
an event to support Early Connections. Early Connections provides high quality early childhood education to children in the Erie community. Vinyl Palooza will be held on September 22, 2016.
Pictured left to right: Darlene Kovacs, Early Connections Executive Director, and Katie Jones, ERIEBANK, Community Office Manager
Thank you! PNC Bank
PNC Bank recently presented Early Connections with a $3000 Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) contribution. Tax credit contributions to Early Connections are used to subsidize the tuition expenses of pre-kindergarten children of low-income, working families.
Thank you ERIEBANK!
Early Connections, Inc. would like to thank their partner ERIEBANK for their generous Pre-K Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) donation of $2,500.
Pictured from left to right are: Michelle Harkins, Associate Executive Director of Early Connections; Bill DeLuca, Senior Vice President of Commercial Banking at ERIEBANK; Darlene E. Kovacs, Executive Director of Early Connections, and Katie Jones, Assistant Vice President, Regional Retail Administrator at ERIEBANK.
Joe B’s Carpet Connection
Thank you! Joe B’s Carpet Connection, 3645 West 12th Street for your generous donation of area rugs to our childcare centers!
Thank You! East Erie Moose Lodge #593
Early Connections, Inc. is thankful to the East Erie Moose Lodge #593 for their donation of $500. The Moose Lodge supports family-friendly causes throughout the community. From left to right: Michelle Harkins, Associate Executive Director, Early Connections; Craig Westover, East Erie Moose Lodge Governor, and Stephanie King, Director of Early Connections West Side. Thank you Moose Board and Members!
Early Connections Annual Report
As Early Connections looks back on a dozen years of service to young children and their families, we know that our community’s children are bursting with potential for a
bright and productive future. We remain committed to persistently reaching out to children and families, and to increasing access and opportunity to quality early care and education. In this annual report, we highlight Early Connections’ work during the 2015-2016 year within our organization and with our many community partners.
2014 Annual Report-Celebrating 10 Years of Quality Early Care and Education for Young Children
2014 marked our organization’s 10 year anniversary as Early Connections. Our annual report summarizes the accomplishments of the past year and reflects upon our growth as an organization over the past ten years.