So far, no Head Start programs in Ohio have been affected by the federal government shutdown. But Barbara Haxton with the Ohio Head Start Association says if there’s no resolution, 11 Head Start facilities across the state will shut down, stranding 2-thousand kids and over a thousand staffers.
"So if those agencies close, families will be lookng for additional care for their children during the day, staff will be laid off - hopefully collecting unemployment for the duration - and programs will be shut down. It's really a bad scene.”
The number of low-income children in Head Start's preschool programs in Ohio will drop by more than 1,800 during this school year because of automatic federal spending cuts.
The Office of Head Start says those cuts will reduce its preschool ranks by more than 57,000 children nationwide. More than a million children are served each year by the programs, which help prepare them for elementary school and give them meals and health care.
Across the state Head Start programs are grappling with the federal budget cuts known as sequestration. Head Start is an early childhood education program that serves low-income and at-risk families. The across the board spending cuts that went into place last March are forcing these programs to cut their funding by over 5 percent. WYSO Community Voices Producer Kijin Higashibaba reports on how this cut will affect Head Start programs in the Miami Valley.
Head Start is an early childhood education program that serves low-income and at-risk families and families that have children with disabilities. The recent sequestration is requiring Head Start programs across the state to cut their funding by 5.3 percent and that could mean big changes to the services it provides. Barbara Haxton is the Executive Director of the Ohio Head Start Association. She says that next year the Miami Valley could lose as many as 300 slots for children in local Head Start programs.