Our Philosophy

We believe our first responsibility is to the families we serve. We believe in the importance of and hold respect for families, for within that social grouping are found children’s first and primary teachers—their parents. We strive to reach out to each child and family. We attempt to enhance their quality of life by recognizing their unique needs, respecting their differences, and protecting their confidentiality.

We are responsible to our employees. We care deeply about their well-being as individuals and try not to lose sight of their individuality, their potential for creativity, and their need for respect, recognition, and flexibility. All staff are encouraged to grow and develop, to learn from mistakes, and to take risks within a supportive environment. Our organizational family focus extends to our staff as well as to our clients. Simultaneously, we have high staff performance expectations, such as a sense of optimism, truly liking children and families, energetic job performance (physically, emotionally, and intellectually), honesty, willingness to listen, flexible attitudes, and a commitment to program goals.

We recognize the importance of each job level in the organization, all of which are clearly interdependent. We strive to do the best, to reach for excellence within our family- centered, highly individualized management structure. We believe in the importance of communication and the necessity for listening at all organizational levels. Our management style is teamwork. We believe in active learning both for employees and for families and children. We accept that our success or failure often can be traced to how well we have brought out the energies and talents of our employees.

Our final responsibility is to our communities. We strive to be good models in our professional field of expertise—family-centered early childhood education—in all of our programs and services. We seek to accept and coordinate the roles and responsibilities of other agencies as we work together to improve the quality of life for the families we serve.

Our History

SUMMIT Early Learning has seen many changes and huge growth over the course of our 50+ year history!

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 and expand, while continuing to focus on quality. Currently we serve over 1600 children in 24 locations. 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!
  • A Makerspace was created and built by staff and volunteers at the Lewisburg Center for School-age Development, housed at the Sharon Koppel Children’s Center.

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!


Watch SUMMIT’s “Milestone Event” where you can hear from staff, parents, and community members about their experiences with our agency.+