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Head Start Gets Cash, Has Fewer Students

Oct. 29, 2004 – Head Start has just received $5.4 million, the second installment in its $7.5 million in federal funding, for this school year. The Human Services Department got the first $2.1 million at the start of Head Start's Sept. 1 to Aug. 31 fiscal year. Another bit of good news is that the enrollment for the program is down. A Human Services official contributes this to a declining birth rate and more parents being employed.
The money from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services funds the entire Head Start program. Monife Stout, Human Services spokesman, said Friday that $94,152 of the $2.1 million pays for training Head Start teachers, assistant teachers, nutritional staff, and managers.
"The training includes upgrading skills and training on new Head Start regulations and procedures," Stout said.
She said those regulations and procedures come from Health and Human Services. The training means that Head Start staff across the country operates on the same page.
A portion of the $94,152 went for quality improvement training for teachers and assistant teachers as well as new classroom curriculum.
The remainder of the $2.1 million along with the $5.4 million received in September covers Head Start operational expenses. They include nutritional programs, social services, maintenance for Head Start centers, and teachers' salaries.
Stout said Head Start serves 894 children across the territory. This is down from 1,113 in 2003, which is actually good news.
"The birth rate is declining and more parents are employed," Stout said.
She said when parents get jobs that earn them more than the Head Start income guidelines; their children are no longer eligible for Head Start.
Additionally, some programs cut their sessions from two to one a day, which further reduced the number of children served.
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