U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand today announced $14,041,738 in federal funding for the Westchester Community Opportunity Program. The federal funding was provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Early Head Start Program and Head Start Program, and will be used to support and grow early education and development services for low-income families in Westchester and Putnam Counties. Schumer and Gillibrand said this funding will continue to support efforts to improve education for low-income children at their earliest age, when major learning strides are most critical.
“Study after study shows that the better we prepare our young children, through programs like Early Head Start and Head Start, the better they perform in school later in life,” said Senator Schumer. “This federal funding for the Westchester Community Opportunity Program will bring real results to our young students, by providing them with the resources they need to succeed both in and out of the classroom. I am proud to support this essential funding, and I will continue to fight to see that early childhood education remains a priority.”
“Head Start programs help our children start out strong and provide support at their most critical learning stages,” said Senator Gillibrand. “These federal funds will help the Westchester Community Opportunity Program deliver invaluable educational programs for children in the community and reduce the cost of high-quality early childhood education for those who need it most. This is an important investment in our children, in local families, and in our area’s economic future. I will always fight in the Senate to make sure that all New Yorkers have the opportunity to reach their full potential.”
“We at WestCOP express our sincere gratitude to Senators Schumer and Gillibrand for their efforts in securing funding for our organization. These funds will benefit the community by providing early care and education and holistic services to nearly 2,000 children and their families in Westchester and Putnam counties,” said CEO of WestCOP, John S. Savage.
Head Start and Early Head Start provide comprehensive child development programs for low-income children from birth to age five, as well as supports and services for their families. Community organizations are awarded grants to provide Head Start and Early Head Start services in their community through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Head Start programs primarily serve 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.