ooming Cuts will Close Head Start Centers in January

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday October 18, 2012

Contact:
Joel Ryan, Joel@wsaheadstarteceap.com, (253) 486-9077
Katy Warren, Katy@wsaheadstarteceap.com, (206) 291-2021

Real Impact of the Debt-Ceiling Deal: Parents, directors and national experts warn 1,400 Children Will Be Cut from Head Start and centers will close in January

Today parents, providers, and national experts warned that looming federal budget cuts mean 1,400 children will lose their spots in Head Start classrooms around Washington State in January. The across-the-board cuts would rob our state’s most at-risk children of one of their best opportunities to prepare for school and life. The cutbacks also would hit at one of the worst possible times for struggling parents – only a few months after their children start preschool – and force them to scramble to find scarce child care.

Head Start programs around the country will face deep funding cuts this winter because a congressional panel failed to agree on a plan to reduce the federal budget deficit last year. Unless parents, teachers and the public raise their voices and convince Congress to act, the failure will begin triggering spending reductions in most federal programs, including Head Start and Early Head Start.

Kris Perry, Executive Director, First Five Years Fund in DC:
“A nation without the will and ability to fund early childhood education is a nation without a strategy for increasing economic growth – but rather one for increasing debt.

Research clearly shows that investments in high-quality early learning prevent later social and economic problems, which reduce productivity and increase debt. Defunding early childhood education will only costs America more in the long term. We urge Congress and the White House to find a sensible approach to tackling the nation’s budget woes so as not to deprive children and the American economy of the opportunity to grow and grow stronger.”

Mary Ellen Lykins, Head Start Director, Skagit/Islands Head Start:
“We serve homeless, low-income and special needs children. But, as a result of the across-the-board cuts we will have no other choice than to close a center and eliminate services for 37 children.

It’s frustrating because our Head Start program is really making a difference. Last fall less than a quarter of our new students entered the program at developmentally expected levels in mathematics. By the spring, three-quarters of these students were at the right levels. In literacy, they went from 52% to 95%.

We can clearly demonstrate that our children are gaining and that Head Start is working. I am hopeful Congress and the administration will find ways to balance the budget without hurting the most vulnerable children and families.

We serve more than 100 pregnant women and children age birth to three, and another 348 children from age three to five, and their families, in Skagit, Island and San Juan counties. These families simply don’t have many other affordable options.”

Nicole Gonzales, Head Start Parent, Walla Walla, WA.:
“Benjamin loves his Head Start program. He is learning how to read, spell, and socialize with other children. Without Head Start, Benjamin’s future could be at risk. I want him to succeed and I know that Head Start is ensuring that he will start school ready to learn. I hope Congress and the Administration can get together and ensure that my son does not lose his one opportunity to make it.”

Nicole Matthews, Head Start Parent, Kent, WA.:
“My child is doing terrific. And her Head Start program is also helping me become self-sufficient. The staff is supporting me as I go to school full time and work. I am currently finishing up my AA degree. Head Start is truly a two generational program – helping both the child and the parent.

If the budget cuts hit Head Start than my child will lose her chance to succeed and I will lose the only support system I have in my effort to get out of poverty for good.”

More Information:

Joel Ryan, Joel@wsaheadstarteceap.com, (253) 486-9077
Katy Warren, Katy@wsaheadstarteceap.com, (206) 291-2021

Estimated 8.2% program cuts by grantee:

Total children cut Region X Head Start/Early HS: 1012
Total children cut AI/AN (Tribes): 116
Total children cut Migrant/Seasonal Head Start: 297
Total Children Cut ALL PROGRAMS WA: 1425

$$$ cut in Region X HS/EHS programs: $10,149,649.

Grantee Name
Total Current Enrollment
Total Children cut 
Benton Franklin Head Start
447
36
Bright Beginnings (Kittitas County)
159
13
Chehalis Indian Head Start
84
7
Chelan-Douglas Child Services Association
294
24
Children’s Home Society of WA (King, Walla Walla)
312
26
Colville Confederated Tribes Head Start
115
9
Community Child Care Center (Pullman area)
107
5
Denise Louie Education Center
256
20
Eastern Washington University
116
10
Edmonds Community College
540
44
Educational Opportunities for Children and Families
637
51
Enterprise for Progress in the Community (EPIC)
882
67
Enterprise for Progress in the Community (Migrant/Seas)
677
56
ESD 112 Early Childhood (Vancouver, SW WA)
60
5
ESD 113 Sound to Harbor Head Start/ECEAP
697
45
Family Services of Grant County
245
20
First A.M.E. Child Development Center (King)
264
22
Kitsap Community Resources
298
24
Lewis County Head Start
197
16
Lewis-Clark Early Childhood Program (Clarkston area)
120
10
Lower Columbia College
330
26
Lower Elwha Head Start
64
5
Lummi Indian Head Start
189
15
Makah Head Start
78
6
Mid Columbia Childrens Council (WA State only)
215
18
Muckleshoot Head Start
90
7
Neighborhood House (Seattle)
246
20
Nisqually Tribal Head Start
40
3
Nooksack Tribal Head Start
64
5
Okanogan County Child Development Assn.
255
21
Olympic Community Action Programs
178
15
Olympic Educational Service District 114
320
26
Opportunity Council (Whatcom County)
281
23
Port Gamble SKlallam Tribe
48
4
Puget Sound Educational Service District (King/Pierce)
1,960
161
Quileute Head Start
50
4
Quinault Indian Nation Head Start
96
8
Rural Resources Community Action (Colville area)
154
13
Samish Longhouse Head Start
30
2
Seattle Public Schools
446
37
Skagit Valley College
451
37
Skokomish Head Start
40
3
Snohomish County Government
82
7
Spokane County HS/ECEAP/EHS
879
72
Spokane Tribe of Indians Head Start
70
6
Suquamish Tribe Head Start
76
6
Tacoma Public Schools
563
46
Tulalip Tribe
74
6
United Indians of All Tribes  (King)
148
12
Upper Skagit Child Development Center
36
3
Walla Walla School District
217
11
Washington State Migrant Council (Migrant/Seasonal)
2,893
241
Washington State Migrant Council (Region X HS/EHS)
363
30
Yakama Indian Nation Tribal Head Start
171
14
State Total
17,704
1,425