WASHINGTON, D.C. – Assistant Speaker Katherine Clark (MA-5) announced today, June 30, that almost $3 million in grants for local Head Start programs are now being distributed. Clark helped secure this funding as part of the American Rescue Plan.
Head Start and Early Head Start programs offer education, health, and nutrition services to children from at-risk backgrounds including those living in poverty, in foster care, or experiencing homelessness, as well as employment and educational support to their parents.
Throughout the pandemic, dedicated Head Start staff have fought to maintain quality programming, support in-home and in-person early education, modify classrooms and procedures to create safe learning environments, and provide rigorous sanitation and screening to protect children, workers, and families during the pandemic.
In Massachusetts’ Fifth District, Action For Boston Community Development, Inc. will receive $2,738,789, Communities United, Inc. will receive $295,536, Community Action Program-Inter City, Incorporated will receive $236,907 and South Middlesex Opportunity Council will receive $433,133.
“As we aim to rebuild a stronger and more equitable economy, we must focus our support on the families who were already struggling to make ends meet before this pandemic,” said Assistant Speaker Clark. “By passing the American Rescue Plan in March, Congress dramatically increased our support for child care, early education, nutrition services, and employment opportunities through investments in Head Start. These funds, which are hitting bank accounts now, will ensure that every child has the support and services they need to succeed.”
“ABCD thanks Congresswoman Clark for her tireless leadership on behalf of low-income children and families, leadership that was key in bringing American Rescue Plan funding to Head Start programs across the nation,” said ABCD President/CEO John J. Drew. “What better investment can we make than in our children? And Head Start serves the entire family, empowering parents and giving them access to the ladder of economic opportunity while our youngest children receive the education, nutrition, social services and health care they need to succeed in school and life. Head Start can serve as a model early education and care program for ALL of America’s families!”“SMOC’s Head Start program provides early childhood education services to children and families struggling to recover in an economy hit hard by the pandemic,” said new South Middlesex Opportunity Council (SMOC) CEO and President Susan Gentili. “The American Rescue Plan funding will allow us to upgrade and enhance our learning environments and playgrounds, providing children with crucial early learning opportunities while allowing their parents to get back to work.”
These investments can go toward basic cost-of-living-adjustment to help programs keep pace and maintain staff, training on the principles of trauma-informed care, additional mental health consultation hours, extended service hours, and other improvements to their programs.
In April, Clark led a bipartisan letter with Congressmembers Lauren Underwood (IL-14) and Joe Morelle (NY-25) requesting $12.1 billion for Head Start and Early Head Start programs, which offer high-quality education, health, and nutrition services to children from at-risk backgrounds and employment and educational support to their parents.
Original story can be found HERE.