Providing Head Start, Early Head Start, Home Visitors, and Family Service Programs

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

Portage Learning Centers


Portage Learning Centers is the grantee for Head Start and Early Head Start programs in Portage County.

Portage Private Industry Council, Inc., DBA Portage Learning Centers (PLC) is currently recruiting volunteers to serve on our Board of Trustees. We are looking for individuals with expertise in the following areas: Fiscal Management or Accounting (CPA), Human Resources, Early Childhood Education and Development, Nutrition, Business Administration, Community Affairs, and current or former Head Start Parents.

PLC’s annual budget is $3.9 million. We serve 240 children in the Head Start program and 84 children in Early Head Start.

The Board of Trustees has the legal and fiscal responsibility to administer and oversee the operation of the Head Start Program. Executive Board members meet monthly, and the Full Board meets quarterly.

If you are interested in applying to Portage Learning Centers’ Board of Trustees, complete the application form by clicking here. Email the completed application form to If you have questions, please contact Suzanne Livengood, Executive Director, at (330) 297-7795 or at the email address above.

Head Start, Portage Learning Centers

What 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.

Head 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.

Head Start, Early Head Start, Home Based Visitors, Portage Learning Centers

How do You Apply?

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


Head Start, Early Head Start, Home Visitors, Portage Learning Centers

Eligibility 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


News, Portage Learning Centers

Portage Learning Centers’ Latest News

 As of March 1, 2022, we no longer require masks at our main office, classrooms, buses, or home visits. Find out more here.

Effective May 1, 2022, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits recipients are included when determining Head Start eligibility. This policy change allows Head Start programs to reach families better, minimize the burden on families seeking public assistance, and coordinate benefit programs so that families eligible for one program can more easily participate in other services they qualify for. Adding SNAP to the categorical eligibility interpretation is essential in addressing any barriers to equitable access to Head Start services for children and families.

We are still accepting applications for Early Head Start, Head Start, and Home Based Visitors Program. Please stop by or call our main office at 330-297-7795 to learn more about the application process.

Please click here for access to our 2020-21 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.

Our institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer.