Buffalo, N.Y. – U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and Representative Brian Higgins today announced $24,294,448 in federal funding for the Community Action Organization of Erie County. The federal funding was provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Head Start and Early Head Start Program to support and expand education and development services for low-income children in the community. Funding was allocated through two grants, one for $22,472,229 and the second for $1,822,219.
“Study after study shows that the better we prepare our young children through programs like Head Start, the better they perform in school later in life,” said Senator Schumer. “This Head Start grant for the Community Action Organization of Erie County will bring real results to our young students in Western New York by providing them with the resources they need to succeed in and out of the classroom. I am proud to support this essential funding and will continue to fight to see that early child 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. “With this funding the Community Action Organization of Erie County will help deliver invaluable education programs for children in Western New York and reduce the cost of quality childcare for those who need it most. This is an important investment in our children, in local families, and in our area’s economic future.”
“Early learning puts children on a path to life-long learning and success,” said Congressman Higgins. “These substantial federal resources will go a long way toward providing education and wrap-around services to those in underserved communities and represents an important investment in our next generation of Western New Yorkers.”
“The Community Action Organization of Erie County extends its deepest appreciation to Senators Gillibrand and Schumer and Representative Higgins for all that they accomplish for us in New York State, especially the children here in western New York. The Head Start – Early Head Start movement provides the most critical intervention in the life stream of low income children, enabling them to reach Kindergarten with the oral and pre-written literacy skills often not attained as a result of the environmental and socio-economic circumstances these children find themselves in. Our award of $22,472,229 for our Head Start program and $1,822,219 for our Early Head Start program through your efforts, will insure that the first 2000 days of a Head Start – Early Head Start child’s life are filled with the kinds of experiences and development that propels these children both academically and socially toward an adulthood of academic competence and economic success,” said L. Nathan Hare, President and CEO of CAO of Erie County, Inc.
Head Start and Early Head Start provide comprehensive child development programs for low-income children from birth to age five and 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. Early Head Start – Child Care Partnerships grants encourage collaboration between new and existing Early Head Start organizations and child care providers to expand access to high-quality care for infants and toddlers.