Further budget cuts a fear for Head Start officials | GainesvilleTimes.com


Further budget cuts a fear for Head Start officials | GainesvilleTimes.com

The doors took only one day to open again at Ninth District Opportunity’s regional Head Start locations after they closed for the recent government shutdown.

A donation reopened those doors and kept them open throughout the shutdown. Now that the government is back in business, the federal grant that funds the preschool program is back in place.

“Our agency will be repaying the entire loan provided to our program … through the National Head Start Association,” said Kay Laws, director of Head Start for Ninth District Opportunity. “All of our centers opened Oct. 8, and we are getting back to normal operation.”

The preschool program was closed for only one day, Oct. 7, before the donation.

Laws said the program did lose a few children throughout the district due to that one-day closure, as parents had already paid for outside child services.

“We are back in operation,” she said. “We don’t anticipate any other interruptions in services, and we’re continuing to accept children for enrollment. … We have very few slots left.”

While the preschool children are back in class, the eyes of their instructors and parents are still turned toward Washington, D.C., where Congress will continue battling over the budget through the end of the year. The agreement to end the shutdown reopened the government only through Jan. 15, 2014.

With that January deadline looming, there is a possibility the new year could be welcomed by another impasse in the federal government. However, Laws said she thinks even if another shutdown does occur, it should not affect the local Head Start as it did earlier this month.

via Further budget cuts a fear for Head Start officials.

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