Join Our Team

We are looking for energetic, reliable and flexible teachers to join our team! We have full and part-time PreK Counts positions. Lead teachers shall possess a minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education or Child Development, as well as an active Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) Instructional Certification in Early Childhood Education. Teaching Assistants must have an Associate’s Degree or higher or a Child Development Associate’s Certification (CDA). Send resumes to dpeppers@earlyconnectionserie.org.

Current Openings for Pre-K Counts

We have openings in our Pre-K Counts program at several of our locations. Children must be 3 years old as of 8/24/2020 and younger than the entry age for kindergarten. Income guidelines apply (a family earning up to 300% of the federal poverty level, such as a family of 4 earning up to $79,500). Part-time morning and afternoon and full-time spots available. Remote learning is also an option. Please call for more information! City Center and North East locations – 814-456-4576. Harbor Homes and John Horan Apartments location – 814-899-3310

Early Connections 2019-2020 Annual Report to the Community

“From tiny seeds grow mighty trees.” (Unknown).  As we have and continue to face a world health crisis that has impacted nearly every aspect of our daily lives, Early Connections has aimed to focus on the “tiny seeds” in in our community.  Our children remain our primary concern because it is only from them that our “mighty trees” of the future will grow.

Over this past year, Early Connections has recognized our community’s children must be nurtured.  To do so, we have focused on their health and well-being, support of their families, and innovative community relationships and collaborations.  We would like to thank our dedicated partners and supporters, and we want to recognize the dedication and selflessness our teachers and many other staff have shown throughout this time.  Early Connections remains committed to face any future obstacles as a community, just as we have this past year.

In summary, we are pleased to present our 2019-2020 annual report highlighting Early Connections’ work throughout this challenging time.

Finally, Early Connections would be remiss without recognizing the retirement of our Executive Director, Darlene Kovacs, and thanking her for many years of nurturing Early Connections’ tiny seeds.  Please be assured that Early Connections is entering the next year and those thereafter optimistic, energized, and eager to expand our organization, the services it offers, and the impact it has on our community.  Together, we grow.

Early Connections Board of Directors announces new Executive Director

Dear Early Connections’  families, friends, and partners,

It is with great excitement the Board of Directors announces the new Executive Director of our organization, Michelle Harkins. Michelle has been fulfilling the duties of this position since the retirement of our previous Executive Director, Darlene Kovacs, but officially assumed the title as of December 11, 2020.

The Board is thrilled that Michelle has agreed to fill this position permanently. She has expressed to the Board a vision for the organization to expand both internally and throughout the community. The Board is excited to assist Michelle as she endeavors down these paths, and we are confident that under her leadership Early Connections’ mission will be wholly exemplified.

In addition to welcoming Michelle to her new role, the Board would like to formally thank our administrative staff who has made this transition seamless for our families, partners, and supporters. Their hard work and dedication to our organization, particularly during this trying time in our society, is deeply appreciated.

Please join us in congratulating Michelle, and as always, should you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Board of Directors at Board@earlyconnectionserie.org.

Sincerely,

Jamie Schumacher, Board President

Happy Retirement!

We would like to extend our deep gratitude to Darlene Kovacs, our Executive Director, who retired at Thanksgiving time. Unfortunately, we were not able to celebrate with a typical retirement party due to the pandemic restrictions. Admin staff and our Early Connections Board President, Jamie Schumacher, extended a big thanks to Darlene (pictured), on behalf of everyone! 

We are thankful for her years of service and dedication to Early Connections. Additional funding obtained during her time of leadership helped provide opportunities to serve more children within our community. 

Darlene, on behalf of our Early Connections’ Board, our staff, and the children and families that we serve, we wish you well as you enjoy your next chapter in life! 

Funding Assistance for Infant Toddler Care

Early Connections wants to share great news with parents of infants and toddlers! We have funded spots available in some of our centers for qualifying children under age 3, through the Infant Toddler Contracted Slots program. This provides your child with an opportunity for a high-quality child care and early education experience at no cost to you if you meet program requirements. There are several toddler spots available right now at our City Center location! 

Please call the Early Learning Resource Center at 836-5898 and ask for more information about Infant Toddler Contracted Slots, or call City Center directly at 456-4576 – act quickly because available spots will fill soon!

COVID-19 SAFETY

Early Connections takes COVID-19 and the safety of our children, families, and staff very seriously. We are following all protocols published by the CDC and Department of Human Services, and we are cleaning and disinfecting centers throughout the day.

In the event someone at your child’s center tests positive for COVID, we will notify you promptly.

Under certain specific circumstances, we are required to shut down the center for 2 days for disinfecting. If this happens, we will notify you immediately and keep you updated about reopening the center.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation during this difficult time.

Investing in Early Learning!

ERIEBANK presented scholarship funds to Early Connections to help more children gain access to high quality preschool education. Thank you ERIEBANK for your investment in early learning.
Pictured L to R: Darlene E. Kovacs (Executive Director, Early Connections); Katie Jones (VP/Market Manager, ERIEBANK); Kimberly Beers (VP Outreach, Early Connections); John VanTassel (Treasury Management, ERIEBANK)