Our Philosophy

It is the philosophy of SUMMIT Early Learning that the primary purpose of early childhood education is to develop each child’s innate love of learning and discovery.

Our curriculum follows the principles and practices of top academic research that exploratory play-based learning during early years fosters a lifelong love of learning.

Our philosophy is that children develop at their own rate and in their own way, and learn best through play. Our play-based, child-centered program reflects the integration of physical, cognitive, social, emotional, language, self-sufficiency, and artistic areas of instruction to foster growth in all areas of development. Meaningful play encourages curiosity, discovery, and problem solving which allows individual growth and development of a positive self-image. We strive to provide a coordinated and progressive program of services and supports that balance structure and exploration and is interesting and appealing.

SUMMIT Early Learning welcomes and includes all children. We recognize the value of including young children with disabilities in programs with typically developing peers. We believe the benefits for all children are considerable and that all children can grow in an inclusive, diverse environment.

We believe in the importance of a strong partnership with families, for within that social grouping are found children’s first and primary teachers—their parents. Children learn best when parents are involved in their educational program. The primary bridge between home and school is the involvement of family and community.

Our History

For the past fifty years, we have seen many changes and huge growth!

SUMMIT Early Learning, Inc. began in 1969 as Union County Child Development, a small nonprofit providing Head Start services to children and families in Union County, Pennsylvania. By our 10th anniversary, we expanded our Head Start program to serve families in Snyder County and Mifflin County, opened our first child care program in Lewisburg, and started to serve children with special needs.

In 1983, we changed our name to Snyder Union Mifflin Child Development, Inc. and the following year, child care services were expanded to Mifflinburg and we opened our first school-age program, called Outlook, in Lewisburg.

In the 1990’s our Early Head Start Program was added, as well as a program to assist families with child care expenses. In 1993, we opened our Children’s Center on the grounds of Susquehanna University and, in the early 2000’s, we built our state-of-the-art Children’s Centers in Lewisburg, Mifflinburg, and Lewistown.

In 2007, we established the first of our nine Pre-K Counts classes and in 2011 added Healthy Families America to our home visiting programs. Since then we’ve continued to grow, expanding services to Northumberland and Juniata Counties. Currently we serve over 1600 children in 24 locations, in 5 counties. Simultaneously we implemented the use of research-based assessment and curriculum and a robust continuous quality assurance system.

In keeping with our commitment to providing high quality, education-focused services:

  • Our school-age child care program changed its name to the Centers for School-age Development in 2015, where we IGNITE, INSPIRE, and ACTIVATE!

In 2018, to again reflect our expanded services and service area and our ongoing commitment to always aspire to new heights of quality, our agency name changed to…
        SUMMIT Early Learning!


© 2018 SUMMIT Early Learning, Inc.