Press Release

Gillibrand Announces Over $3 Million Coming to Head Start Program in Dutchess County

Feb 29, 2012

Washington D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $3,034,714 for Astor Services for Children and Families Inc. to help provide early child education to Dutchess County children. 

“This is great news for Dutchess County children and families,” Senator Gillibrand said. “These federal dollars will help deliver quality child care, healthy food and other critical services to families who desperately need it in these tough economic times.” 

Mary Sontheimer, Assistant Executive Director of Astor’s Early Childhood Programs said, “These federal funds allow us to serve our youngest and most vulnerable neighbors, ensuring the highest quality of services and maximizing critical impact in both home and center settings.” 

The primary purpose of Head Start and Early Head Start programs is to provide comprehensive child development programs for children from birth to age 5, pregnant women, and families. The programs are child-focused and have the goal of preparing more low-income children for school. 

Astor Services for Children & Families provides health services for children in Dutchess County. This non-profit organization specializes in child welfare services, children’s mental health, and early childhood development for pre-schoolers, children with behavioral and emotional health problems, children at risk of placement in foster care, and families needing help raising children in difficult environments.  This organization serves approximately 6,000 children annually. Since its establishment in 1953, the organization has grown from a single home for children to community-based programs, allowing Astor Services for Children & Families to address a broad range of challenges facing children and families.