Head Start gets early end this year

The child development program operated at WSOS is to close a week earlier than usual in May due to a projected 5 percent cut in Head Start funding.

The cuts are a result of the sequestration that took effect last month when Congress was unable to come to agreement with the White House on a budget.

According to information from the National Head Start Association, this is the largest cut Head Start has ever had. There have been some adjustments through the years, but these cuts are larger and unprecedented.

“We are just closing a week earlier,” Director of Public Relations Joyce Huntley said. “Families are concerned about what is going to happen to the programs in the future.”

More than 1,100 children and their families in the WSOS four-county area will be affected.

in addition, about 140 staff will be laid off. There are three centers in Seneca County – Fostoria, Bascom and Tiffin.

The National Head Start office also has notified WSOS it must plan for a similar cut in the 2013-14 funding year.

“We do not know how everyone will be impacted yet,” Huntley said. “It is still too early to tell.”

Children enrolled in WSOS’ pre-school programs receive comprehensive services that include social services, health and dental services, mental health services, nutrition, disability services, and most importantly, parental involvement.

With this program, staff learns of other needs the family may have that WSOS may be able to help them fill. Families that enroll their children in the program benefit by having access to a variety of community resources, diverse parent education programs and other social services that can assist the family to become self-sufficient.

For more information, call (419) 334-8911.