Washington, DC—U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Scott Murphy secured $876,948 for Warren County Head Start through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The federal dollars will help create an Early Head Start program, providing quality care to pregnant women, infants and toddlers throughout Warren County. Last year, Senator Gillibrand helped pass ARRA, and in June, urged Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to support Warren County’s program. Congressman Murphy has been working with Head Start programs across the 20th District to secure funding through the Recovery Act.
“Warren County Head Start provides quality education for young children and essential services for families that might not receive them otherwise,” said Senator Gillibrand. “These federal dollars will allow many more families in Warren County to benefit from services including health care and nutrition education. During these tough economic times, this funding will go a long way to deliver quality child care, healthy food and other critical services to families who desperately need it.”
“This grant invests in the future of our community by improving the quality of life and education for our children,” said Rep. Murphy. “Warren County Head Start is a proven program that helps ease the burden on middle class families being squeezed in his tough economy. By creating an Early Head Start program, they will be able to expand their ability to help our young children, mothers, and families at a time when they need it most.”
“Warren County Head Start, Inc. is excited to have been chosen to receive an Early Head Start Grant. Sixteen hundred grant applications were received and only 600 programs were funded. The unique collaboration between Adirondack Community College, The Faculty Student Association and Warren County Head Start, along with the support of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand were instrumental in our success,” said Mary E. Hafner, Executive Director.
The Warren County Early Head Start program will provide assistance to as many as 50 eligible families in Warren County through its Adirondack Community College (ACC) location and through a home program that will allow home-based workers to visit families living in the most rural parts of Warren County. This program will provide quality care to pregnant women, infants, and toddlers by providing screening assessments on development and all health related needs such as vision, hearing, and dental.
In addition to the 50 new slots the Early Head Start will create, this grant will also lead to the creation of 12 new jobs that will also benefit the people of Warren County.
The Head Start program in Warren County, established in 1965, is among the first programs of its kind established in the United States. Originally established as a program to provide assistance to families during the summer months, it has since grown into a year-round preschool and family service center, currently serving 232 children, ages 3-5, and their families. The program has received many awards over the years for the services they provide to low-income families.