U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand have announced over $21.5 million in federal funding for Head Start and Early Head Start Programs across Upstate New York, according to a press release.
Action for a Better Community Inc. (ABC) of Rochester, located in Monroe County, has been awarded $6.9 million of the funds.
“The Head Start funding announcement just released by members of Congress is in regard to the balance, or second half, of ABC’s annual funding allocation, which means that (the federal portion of) our Head Start program is now “fully” funded for the period of February 1, 2015 through January 31, 2016; our Head Start funding cycle,” said ABC president and CEO James Norman. “It was the ‘first half’ of our grant that was announced just over six weeks ago. The combination of the two announcements provides annual federal Head Start funds of $13,886,000. This amount covers 80 percent of the cost of program operations. There is no increase in dollars from the prior year’s funding level. The 20 percent of cost not covered by the federal grant is generated local cash, and in-kind contributions. Altogether, the funding allows ABC to annually serve over 1,400 children, in Head Start and Early Head Start, through our centers and through our contractors, Ibero and Volunteers of America.”
In addition, “Children are most impacted by their earliest lessons, and carry those teachings through their academic career,” said Sen. Schumer. “We need to invest in child care, and early child care programs like Head Start, so that we are preparing our children for their future. This Head Start grant will bring real results to young students across New York by providing them with the tools and resources they need to succeed in and out of the classroom. I am proud to support this essential funding, and will continue to fight to see that early child education remains a priority.”
“Early education programs provide the strongest foundation for our children’s success, which is why this funding is so important for New York families,” Sen. Gillibrand stated. “With this new funding, Head Start programs across New York State will have the resources necessary to serve our students and prepare them for bright futures in the classroom and beyond.”
Schumer and Gillibrand said this funding would also allow organizations in Clinton, Franklin, Genesee, Onondaga, Orleans, and Westchester Counties to continue their efforts to improve education for low-income children.
The following additional organizations have also received awards from the fund:
- Joint Council for Economic Opportunity (JCEO) of Clinton and Franklin Counties, Inc., located in Plattsburgh, has been awarded $1.6 million for Head Start Projects.
- Community Action of Orleans and Genesee Inc., located in Albion, has been awarded over $1 million for Head Start and Early Head Start Programs.
- People’s Equal Action and Community Effort, Inc. in Syracuse, located in Onondaga County, has been awarded $5.7 million Head Start and Early Head Start funding.
- Cardinal McCloskey Community Services in Valhalla, located in Westchester County, has been awarded $6.1 million for Head Start Programs.
According to the press release, Head Start and Early Head Start provide comprehensive child development programs for low-income children, and their families, from birth to age five. Head Start primarily serves children ages three and four, while Early Head Start serves pregnant women, infants and toddlers.
The comprehensive services these programs offer include early education, health screenings, social and emotional health, nutrition, social services, and services for children with disabilities, the press release said.
In addition, officials said the organizations have been awarded the grants through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.