New Castle County Head Start, Inc. welcomed more than 500 students for its first day of the academic year on Sept. 16.
The federal and state-funded agency offers a pre-school program for children ages 3 to 5 from low-income families at eight centers across New Castle County. When the federal sequester went into effect March 1, Head Start programs across the country have been working to implement funding cuts in ways that minimize disruption to children and preserve high quality education services.
The impact to New Castle County Head Start was more than $200,000 or 40 enrollment spots, resulting in the loss of two classrooms. In anticipation of the funding cuts, New Castle County Head Start, Inc. pursued and secured funding in the amount of $120,700 from the State of Delaware’s Department of Education Early Childhood Assistant Program for one classroom; minimizing the impact to a net loss of one classroom for the academic year.
“The loss of two classrooms forced the closure of one of our centers, the Brandywine Center. We were fortunate to win a competitive grant from the State of Delaware but make no mistake about it, the early childhood community has been affected by sequestration," comments executive director Jeffrey E. Benatti.