Need help with basic needs as a result of the #COVID19 crisis? Text your zip code to 898-211 to connect with a live resource specialist. Tell them what you need help with, and they will text you resources in your area that might be able to help.

They are experiencing high call volumes right now, and the quickest way to get help is via text. You can also search their resources on your own at

Update 2/10/21 The recent decline in COVID-19 cases and positivity rates decrease the risk of spreading
the COVID-19 virus among our children, families and staff. Because of this, we are planning to bring children and families back to the classroom in March 2021. Click Re-Opening Update for more details.  Re-Opening Update

Update 10/28/20 The recent rise in COVID-19 cases and positivity rates increase the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus among our children, families and staff. Because of this, we will NOT bring children and families back to the classroom on November 2, 2020. The safest option is to continue at home learning until it is safe for children to physically return to school. We will need to continue our First Start @ Home remote learning for now. For more information click here.

Update 9/25/20 First Start Partnerships for Children and Families will re-open all classrooms on November 2, 2020. Children will attend in-person instruction on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Wednesday all children will participate in First Start @Home (our at home learning program that is currently being used), this will allow for a deep cleaning of all classrooms. To view the entire plan click here.

Update 8/4/20 Click here to view information regarding First Start Partnerships Reopening.

Update 7/23/20  First Start Partnerships for Children and Families is currently developing a re-opening plan for the 2020-2021 school year. We are reviewing feedback from staff and families as well as input from federal, state, and local health, government and educational organizations to inform our next steps in planning for a safe, healthy and educational First Start Partnerships program. More information will be sent out in early August.


Update 4/14/20  As you likely know, Thursday, Governor Wolf closed schools for the rest of this current school year. First Start Partnerships has developed First Start @ Home to provide families with resources and support from teachers to continue to ensure each child arrives ready for kindergarten.


UPDATE 3/25/20: We have been informed by Governor Wolf that all PA schools will remain closed through at least April 8, 2020, for students.  Staff would be allowed to return on April 9, provided COVID-19 is subsiding.   Because this falls over the Holiday weekend and wanting to provide our staff a day to prepare for the children to return, First Start Partnerships children would not physically return to school until Tuesday, April 14.  We will continue to work with state and local leaders, including school districts, in making these difficult decisions.

Read the full press release from PA Governor Wolf here:


UPDATE 3/13/20:First Start Partnerships will close all locations from March 16th through March 27th. This is out of an abundance of caution for our children and staff, and with a sincere desire to keep our community safe. Our team will be sharing activities you can do with your child when he or she is with you. If you need support, please contact your Family Advocate (Head Start and Early Head Start center-based), Home Visitor (Early Head Start Home-Based), Pam Raynor (Pre-K Counts), or your teacher through the Remind app. If you do not have a contact, you may email us as, or call us at 717-263-8019, extension “0” and we will return your call within 24 hours.

Please stay safe and healthy to help you and our community.


Dear First Start Families,

As you are aware, recent reports regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) have dominated the headlines. Concerns about the spread of the virus both in the U.S. and abroad are being closely monitored by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Similarly, First Start Partnerships for Children and Families is closely monitoring information received daily. We are in contact with The Office of Head Start (OHS) and Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL).   Our primary concern is to ensure the health and safety of our families and staff. While it is important to continue monitoring the spread of COVID-19, it is equally important to take precautionary measures.

In the event of a COVID-19 closure, families will be notified via Remind. Information will also be posted on the website and Facebook page.

If you have any questions please contact your classroom Teacher or Family Advocate.


For up to date information click here:

image of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

First Start @ Home

We will begin the 2020-2021 school year on August 27, 2020 with our at home learning program, called First Start @ Home. This program will include:  

  • Daily fifteen-minute remote “classes” for children; your child can attend the live sessions from wherever they are (home, childcare provider, grandparents’ house, etc.) The sessions will be recorded and available for viewing at your convenience.
  • Daily activities to follow remote classes: Materials and supplies will be provided to each family.
  • Monthly parent-teacher remote conferences; these conferences can take place virtually or over the phone.
  • Breakfast and lunch available for pick-up weekly in each school district region;
  • Wellness checks/Crisis counseling; program staff will work closely with you to support your individual family needs.

More information about First Start @Home was be sent to families.


ReadyRosie is a RESEARCH-BASED parenting curriculum that builds on parents’ knowledge. ReadyRosie harnesses the power of video and mobile technology to empower families and schools to work together to promote SCHOOL READINESS. Families, YOU play an essential role in the education and well-being of your child. Together the First Start Staff and ReadyRosie can support you in that role!




Internet Access Information

Franklin County Library System WIFI

Xfinity/Comcast has provided hotspots to the community to support education efforts.

Xfinity WIFI Resources


What is Coronavirus?

World Health Organization: What is Coronavirus?

Prevention Tips

The first and most important measure you can take is to wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face. These simple measures can drastically reduce the risk of catching viruses such as the flu and COVID-19. Handwashing should be with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or with a hand sanitizer. Another preventative is to get the flu shot, as having the flu and COVID-19 at the same time would be worse than the flu alone. The flu shot can be obtained at your doctor’s office or a pharmacy.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
    • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to  others.
    • The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. 

Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19


How to make your own face mask to help stop the spread of the coronavirus



Resources for home

The CDC has provided resources for you to prepare your home.




Food Assistance

Chambersburg Food Pantry

Chambersburg, PA 17201 533 S. Main Street

Phone (717) 263-5060 Fax (717) 263-7060


Greencastle Food Pantry

Greencastle, PA 17225 57 West Baltimore Street

Phone (717) 263-5060 Fax (717) 263-7060


Orrstown Food Pantry

Orrstown, PA 17241 3442 Orrstown Road

Phone (717) 263-5060 Fax (717) 263-7060


Fayetteville Food Pantry

Fayetteville, PA 17222 44 East Main Street

Phone (717) 263-5060 Fax (717) 263-7060


St. Thomas Food Pantry

Saint Thomas, PA 17252 360 St. Thomas-Edenville Road

Phone (717) 263-5060

Five Forks Brethren in Christ Church

Waynesboro, PA 17268 9244 Five Forks Road

Phone (717) 762-2991 Fax (717) 762-8124


Mental Health Resources
If you need to speak with someone during this time, assistance is available through the PA Crisis Text Line. You can text with a licensed counselor for people in crisis.
Text PA to 741741

Mental Health America Resources

For the general public, the mental health effects of COVID-19 are as important to address as are the physical health effects. And for the one in five who already have mental health conditions – or the one in two who are at risk of developing them – we need to take personal, professional, and policy measures now to address them.

To aid individuals and communities during this time, MHA has compiled a range of resources and information. Visit for more information.


SEL and Mental Health Resources during the COVID-19 Outbreak


Financial Information
Translated Resources

Daily Briefing Livestream

Fact Sheets (PA Department of Health)

What You Need to Know (CDC)

Symptoms of COVID-19 (CDC)

What to Do If Sick (CDC)

Give your child a future

Learn More