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Early Childhood FAQ

Early Childhood Programs Frequently Asked Questions Table of Contents

Early Childhood Programs Frequently Asked Questions
Magnolia Elementary School Judith P. Hoyer Program
What is a “Judy Center”?

Judy Centers are named after the late Judith P. Hoyer, an early childhood advocate and Supervisor of Early Childhood Education for Prince George's County, Maryland Public Schools. Judy Centers provide a central location for early childhood education and support services for children birth through Kindergarten and their families who reside in specific Title I school (high poverty) districts across the State of Maryland. Judy Centers are unique because they promote school readiness through collaboration with community-based agencies, organizations, and businesses. This integrated approach promotes program and service delivery that is conveniently located in or near Title I schools, ensuring that young children who may begin school at a deficit are given opportunities to start their formal education on a level playing field with their peers.

Readiness for school includes:
12 Components of a Judy Center

1. Full Day/Summer Programs 
2. Provision of Breakfast/Lunch 
3. Service Coordination and Family Support. 
4. Combination of Early Education Services 
5. Family Involvement 
6. Early Identification/Intervention 
7. Young Children with Disabilities Involvement 
8. Health Services 
9. Educational Training for all Staff and Partners 

10. Adult Education/Family Literacy
11. Highly Qualified Programs 
12. Judy Center Partnership/Leadership

Judy centers are monitored on a regular basis and are required to meet the above twelve Component Standards.

  Who will benefit from the Judy Center approach at Magnolia Elementary School?
With the opening of the new Judy Center at Magnolia Elementary School in Harford County, Judy Centers are now located in almost all Maryland jurisdictions.  Baltimore City, Charles County, and Montgomery County each have two Judy Centers.  The Magnolia Judy Center will host an official opening of the Judy Center at Magnolia Elementary School in spring 2014.
Magnolia Elementary School Judy Center contact information
Contact Bonnie Mitrega at Bonnie.Mitrega@hcps.org or 410-612-1553
Eligibility Age
At what ages are children eligible to enroll in early childhood programs?
Title I School Readiness Program A child admitted to the School Readiness program in the Title I school enrollment area must be 2-years-old on September 1 of the school year in which the child applies for entrance.
Special Education Early Intervention A child between the ages of  3-years old  and 5 –years-old, who have an educational disability, are eligible for Early Intervention services.
Prekindergarten A child admitted to the prekindergarten program in the public school shall be 4-years-old or older on September 1 of the school year in which the child applies for entrance.
Kindergarten A child admitted to the kindergarten program in the public school shall be 5-years-old or older on September 1 of the school year in which the child applies for entrance.
First Grade A child admitted to the first grade in the public schools shall be  6-years-old or older on September 1 of the school year in which the child applies for entrance.
Title I School Readiness Program
What is the Title 1 School Readiness Program?
The Title I School Readiness program prepares our youngest learners ages 2-years-old – 4-years-old for the demands of school. This Title I program focuses on math and reading at the earliest stages of development as well as giving our parents skills and strategies to use with their children. Each session will provide 2 hours of learning each week with instruction delivered by a certified classroom teacher. The sessions will be held at the Title I Elementary School and will provide 2 hours of learning (9:00-11:00 or 1:00-3:00) (Havre de Grace Elementary 9:30-11:30 and 1:30-2:30) one day each week with instruction delivered by a certified classroom teacher.
This program will be free of charge to all families living in the Title I Elementary School enrollment area.
Sessions will begin the third week of September and will end the second week in June.  (Approximate Time Frame)
How does the Title I School Readiness application process work?
 Necessary Documentation:                                     
  1. Child’s birth certificate.  If you do not have a birth certificate, one of the following is acceptable:
    • Hospital certificate
    • Physician’s certificate
    • Baptism/church certificate
    • Passport/visa
    • Birth registration
  1. Proof of residence,  one of the following:
    • Current monthly utility bill dated within 90 days of enrollment (e.g. BGE, Comcast, Verizon, landline phone). The utility bill mush show name, service address, usage and charge. Note: a Start Up Notice or pink Turn Off Notice is not acceptable.
    • Settlement papers or a lease agreement must be submitted to the Pupil Personnel Worker (PPW) in your attendance area if the family is new to Harford County or has recently changed residence. A follow-up utility bill will be required.
  1. Immunization records and physical form        http://www.hcps.org/parents/immunizationrequirements.aspx
HCPS Elementary Schools with Title I School Readiness Programs

Special Education Early Intervention

What does disabled mean?

Federal and State laws identify specific educational disabilities that entitle a child to special education services if it is determined that the disability is interfering with the child’s learning.

These educational disabilities include:

Developmental Delay
Emotional Disability
Hearing Impairment
Intellectual Disability
Multiple Disabilities
Orthopedic Impairment
Other Health Impairment
Specific Learning Disability
Speech or Language Impairment
Traumatic Brain Injury
Visual Impairment

What is Child Find?

“CHILD FIND” is the name given to the all-out effort to locate children who may be in need of special education services. It is a special education service provided by the Harford County Public Schools to identify children who live in Harford County, from ages 3 through 21, who are suspected of having an educational disability and who may be eligible for special education and related services.

How do I refer a child to Child Find?

What is the Child Find process?

Parent or Guardian contacts the Child Find office at 410-638-4386/87.

What services might an eligible student receive?  

Possible Services include:

What is the cost involved?
Child Find screening services are available, at no charge, to all Harford County residents three through 21 years of age. Assessments, evaluations, and all special education services which are determined to be necessary by the IEP Team are provided free of charge.
What is the Infants and Toddlers Program?
The Harford County Infants and Toddlers Program is an early intervention program for children birth to 4-years-old and their families. Through family-centered services, parents and caregivers are provided guidance and coaching to help their child be successful at home and in the community and develop school readiness skills.
Children ages 3 – 4-years-old are provided services through HCITP upon meeting the requirements of the MD Extended IFSP Option.
Who is eligible for services?
What services are available?
Where are services provided?
Services are typically provided in the natural environment.  This could include:
What is the process?
The process begins by making a referral.  Most referrals are made directly by the child’s parents by calling the Harford County Infants and Toddlers office at   410-638-3823.
With parental consent, referrals may also be made by health care providers, child care providers, social workers, family members, and other individuals familiar with the child’s development.
Who provides the services?
The Harford County Infants and Toddlers Program is an interagency program provided by:
What else should I know about Infants and Toddlers?
If your child is under 3-years-old and you have concerns about their development, call the Harford County Infants and Toddlers Program at 410-638-3823.
If your child is over 3- years-old and you have concerns about their development or school     readiness, call Child Find at 410-638-4386.
These programs are a public service to eligible children of Harford County and are provided at no charge to families.

What is the Regional Early Intervention Classroom?

The early intervention classrooms are designed to meet the needs of those students with   moderate to severe delays in cognition, social interaction, communication and behavior. These students require a structured teaching routine presented in a language rich environment. Each classroom is staffed with a special education teacher and paraeducator.  The classrooms are located in regional centers throughout the county.  Students attend 2, 3, or 4 days per week. Related services such as speech-language, occupational therapy, physical therapy, vision and hearing services are delivered at the regional early intervention center (in or out of the classroom).
HCPS Elementary Schools with Regional Early Intervention Classrooms
  • Edgewood Elementary
    2100 Cedar Drive, Edgewood, MD
  • Homestead/Wakefield Elementary
    900 South  Main Street, Bel Air, MD
  • Hall’s Cross Roads Elementary
    203 East Bel Air Ave, Aberdeen, MD
  • North Bend Elementary
    1445 North Bend Road, Jarrettsville, MD
What is prekindergarten?
Prekindergarten is a state-funded program for 4-year-old children who are from families that are economically disadvantaged or homeless. The overall goal of prekindergarten is to provide learning experiences to help children develop and maintain school readiness skills necessary to be successful in school. The Prekindergarten program provides appropriate experiences that address the literacy, mathematical, cognitive, social, emotional, and physical needs of young children. In HCPS prekindergarten is a two and a half hour program offered in a morning and afternoon session.

How does the prekindergarten application process work?

      Necessary Documentation:
1.  Proof of Income:  (Previous year’s federal income tax form 1040, with child listed as a dependent.)
2.  Child’s birth certificate.  If you do not have a birth certificate, one of the following is acceptable:
3.   Proof of residence, one of the following:
4.   Photo I.D. of parent
HCPS Elementary Schools with Prekindergarten Programs
  • Abingdon Elementary
    399 Singer Road, Abingdon, MD
  • Bakerfield Elementary
    36 Baker Street, Aberdeen, MD
  • Bel Air Elementary
    30 East Lee Street, Bel Air, MD
  • Church Creek Elementary
    4299 Church Creek Rd, Belcamp, MD
  • Deerfield Elementary
    2307 Willoughby Beach Rd, Edgewood, MD
  • Dublin Elementary
    1527 Whiteford Road, Street, MD
  • Edgewood Elementary
    Inclusion Program
    2100 Cedar Drive, Edgewood, MD
  • George Lisby at Hillsdale Elementary
    810 Edmund Street, Aberdeen,
  • Hall’s Cross Roads Elementary
    203 East Bel Air Ave, Aberdeen, MD
  • Havre de Grace Elementary
    600 Juniata St, Havre de Grace MDbr /> 410-939-6616
  • Homestead/Wakefield Elementary
    Inclusion Program
    900 South Main Street, Bel Air, MD
  • Joppatowne Elementary
    410 Barksdale Road, Joppa, MD
  • Magnolia Elementary
    901 Trimble Road, Joppa, MD
  • Meadowvale Elementary
    910 Grace View Dr, Havre de Grace, MD
  • North Bend Elementary
    1445 North Bend Road, Jarrettsville,
  • Prospect Mill Elementary
    101 Prospect Mill Road, Bel Air, MD
  • Riverside Elementary
    211 Stillmeadow Drive, Joppa, MD
  • Roye-Williams Elementary
    201 Oakington Rd, Havre de Grace, MD
  • William Paca/Old Post Road Elementary
    2706 Philadelphia Road Abingdon, MD
Kindergarten/First Grade
What is kindergarten?
All kindergarten programs in the public schools are full-day programs operating for 6.5 hours a day to support the academic, social, physical, and emotional development of kindergarten students.
Can parents “hold their child out” for one year if a child is age-eligible for kindergarten?
If parents or legal guardians decide that it is in the best interest of their child who is already enrolled in kindergarten to be withdrawn, what must they do?
How do I register for kindergarten?
Necessary Documentation:
  1. Child’s birth certificate.  If you do not have a birth certificate, one of the following is acceptable:
2. Proof of Residence
3. Photo I.D. of parent
4. Immunization records and physical formhttp://www.hcps.org/parents/immunizationrequirements.aspx
Do I need to register my child for kindergarten if my child is enrolled in a Harford County Public School prekindergarten program?
What if my child is transferring to a new school?
Are there any informational events prior to the start of kindergarten?
Can Harford County Public Schools deny entrance into kindergarten or first grade?
Can a child be admitted early to kindergarten, or first grade?
What is the process for applying for early admission to kindergarten?
During the school year, can a child who did not turn 5-years-old by September 1 be enrolled in the kindergarten program if he or she is attempting to transfer from another institution?
Can a child who is enrolled in a private or parochial kindergarten program transfer to a public school kindergarten program?
What is the process for applying for early admission to first grade?  
If a child did not meet the age for kindergarten attendance, was admitted to kindergarten in a private or parochial school, and successfully completed kindergarten, can the child transfer to the public school as a first grade student?
If the parents of a non-English speaking child apply for early admission, must accommodations be made?
If the parents of a home schooled child requests a transfer to public school, must they meet the September 1 age of entry for kindergarten?
Considerations Regarding Early Entrance to School
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Harford County Public Schools Nondiscrimination Statement

The Harford County Public School System does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation or disability in matters affecting employment or in providing access to programs. Inquiries related to the policies of the Board of Education of Harford County should be directed to the Manager of Communications, 410-588-5203.

Harford County Public Schools Early Childhood Programs
Kathy Griffin, Coordinator
Phone: 410-588-5252 • Email:  Kathy.Griffin@hcps.org • Fax:  410-588-5370