Providing Head Start and Early Head Start Programs

Dedicated to optimizing the potential of children and families in Portage County, Ohio

COVID-19 Update: We are open and strictly follow all CDC and Portage County school guidelines to keep your children safe. Please read our latest update in our News section. 


Head Start, Portage Learning CentersWhat are Head Start and Early Head Start Services?

The Head Start program is a no-cost preschool for income-eligible children, ages three to five years old, and not kindergarten eligible. Portage Learning Centers operates four Head Start centers in Kent, Ravenna, Streetsboro, and Atwater.

240 children are served in Head Start.

Early Head Start (EHS) is a no-cost early education program for infants, toddlers, and pregnant women.  Portage Learning Centers serves EHS children and families in a home-based program offered virtually for the 2020-2021 school year. In addition, a center-based program is also provided to EHS children in our Kent location.

84 children and pregnant women are served in Early Head Start.

Portage Learning Centers, Head StartHead Start and Early Head Start are federally funded programs that promote the school readiness of children ages birth to 5 from income-eligible families by enhancing their cognitive, social, and emotional development. Programs provide comprehensive services to enrolled children and their families, including health, nutrition, social services, education, and cognitive development services.






Portage Learning Centers, Head Start

How do You Apply?

Call (330) 297-7795 to schedule an enrollment appointment at our Portage Learning Centers Main Office.

You can complete a portion of the enrollment application by using this link.






Head Start, Portage Learning CentersEligibility Requirements

Head Start and Early Head Start are income-based programs. Income guidelines are based on family size.

2021 Income Guidelines

Homeless and Foster Children are automatically eligible for services.

Twelve months of documented income must be provided, i.e., W2, 1040, 1099, paystubs, OWF, SSI, Social Security, Child Support, Unemployment, etc.

If a family claims no income for the previous twelve months, the enrollment office will provide more information on what will be required.

Proof of age is required for child applicants (birth certificate/birth record).

Pregnant women will not need to provide proof of age, nor will they need to prove pregnancy.

Other information needed:

  • Name, address, and phone number of two emergency contacts
  • Custody/guardianship paperwork, if applicable.
  • Name of child’s doctor and dentist

Portage Learning Centers Latest News


COVID-19, Portage Learning Centers

As you may be aware, the COVID-19 mutation known as the Delta variant is spreading rapidly throughout the United States. Positive COVID-19 cases continue to rise throughout Ohio, including Portage County. With low vaccination rates in our community accompanied by children ages 11 and younger not yet able to be vaccinated, we will follow CDC and OOH guidance regarding the use of face masks.

Effective Monday, 8/9/21, all PLC staff, regardless of vaccination status, must wear a  mask while in the presence of children. Additionally, any parent or visitor who enters a center while children are present must wear a mask.

Staff and visitors may remove their masks at the following times:

  • While outdoors but must put it on if direct care is being provided, for example, administering first aid, comforting, or holding a child
  • When all children have left the building
  • While in an area where children are not present

PLC will continue to monitor COVID-19 trends, and our policies will be re-evaluated monthly. If you have any questions, you may contact our PLC Nurse, Jenn Justus, at 330- 297-7795.


Head Start, Portage Learning Centers

Portage Learning Centers accepts applications for the Head Start and Early Head Start Programs.  Please call our main office at 330-297-7795 for more information. 

Please click here for access to our 2019-20 Annual Report. 

Part of our funding comes from the USDA. View their anti-discrimination statement that we follow at every center and our main office.