WASHINGTON, DC – March 25, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — In an effort to provide early learning opportunities for children throughout the state, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and U.S. Representatives Jim Langevin and David Cicilline today announced $3,298,277 in federal grant funding for two Head Start and Early Head Start programs in Rhode Island.
East Bay Community Action Program (EBCAP) will receive $2,217,641 and Cranston-based Comprehensive Community Action Program (CCAP) will receive $1,080,636 to continue their efforts to improve education for low-income children and offer critical services such as health and nutrition assistance.
The federal funds, which are administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), will be used to provide comprehensive early childhood development services to low-income children, up to age five, and help prepare them for school.
Head Start is a federally-funded comprehensive early childhood program for low-income pre-school children and their families. It is designed to address a wide variety of needs during the two years before kindergarten. Head Start programs deliver early education, medical and dental screenings and referrals, nutrition services, mental health services, family engagement activities, and social service referrals for the whole family.
“Head Start helps thousands of children develop basic learning and social skills and gives them a solid foundation to learn and grow. At a time of budget uncertainty, these federal funds provide a little stability to these vital programs, which are critical to the educational and emotional development of these kids,” said Senator Jack Reed, a member of the Appropriations Committee, who helped include $8.6 billion for Head Start in the Fiscal Year 2015 Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act. “This is a smart, cost effective investment that will help EBCAP and CCAP provide a safe and healthy learning environment for children. Head Start also helps parents, ensuring they are prepared to support their child’s education and development while also enabling them to balance work and care for their kids. I will continue working to support federal Head Start funding and early childhood education programs so that all children get a fair shot at achieving their full potential.”
“Children in low-income families face unique challenges that can too often leave them ill-prepared for school. Head Start helps these kids become successful students, and this funding will be a big help to the local organizations that administer this important program,” said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.
“Passion for learning is strongest when it starts during childhood, and Head Start provides the support and programming necessary to set that early path toward academic and personal success,” said Congressman Jim Langevin. “Head Start likewise serves as an important resource for working families who need a safe, supportive environment for their children, and programming includes health care services for low-income children. These types of wraparound services open up opportunities for at-risk youth and I am grateful that we have outstanding Head Start programs on which Rhode Island families can rely.”
“Head Start provides essential support for young children in the critical early learning years and the award of federal funds to several Community Action Programs will benefit thousands of Rhode Island children,” said Congressman David Cicilline. “Ensuring that children have support from the beginning helps promote their healthy development and I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues in the federal delegation to ensure these programs have the resources they need.”
“EBCAP is grateful for the ongoing support of the Rhode Island Congressional Delegation for this important program to help families and children get a real head start on their educational development,” said Dennis Roy, President and CEO of EBCAP.
“CCAP is grateful to our very supportive delegation who were instrumental in securing this funding. CCAP is honored to receive this continued funding for our Head Start Program which provides quality pre-school experiences and is a proven path to future success for low income children,” said Joanne McGunagle, Executive Director of CCAP.
According to the Rhode Island Kids Count Factbook, for the 2013-2014 school year there were 2,040 Head Start slots in Rhode Island (1,910 federally-funded slots and 130 state-funded slots).
Both East Bay Community Action Program and Comprehensive Community Action Program are operating a pre-kindergarten (Pre-K) class this school year (2014-15), which marks CCAP’s first year of involvement with the Rhode Island Pre-kindergarten Program.
The National Head Start Association reports that since the summer of 1965, more than 31 million children nationwide have benefitted from Head Start’s comprehensive services.