Families relieved over Head Start funding - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Families relieved over Head Start funding


The governor announced that state funds will be made available to help keep open a Head Start program in Bridgeport, which was affected by the government shutdown.

The Action for Bridgeport Community Development program had to close its doors the day of the shutdown, leaving 1,245 children without a Head Start early learning program.

The program provided parents with affordable daycare and had an emphasis on learning.

The 3 to 5 year olds would get a healthy breakfast, lunch and snack every day when they attended their pre-K classes at ABCD.

On Wednesday, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced the program would be receiving $800,000 in funds to open its doors during the shutdown.

"Bottom line is we have identified monies, we will make them available to this agency," Malloy said. "This program will be up and running."

Last week, the state gave Head Start funding to operate on a limited basis and have 494 children attend the program.

"These services are vital for the success of many children in low-income families, and the sad reality is that they are the ones paying the price for political games being played in Washington. It's unacceptable," Malloy said in a statement Wednesday.

The money will only last until the end of the month.

Others have tried to help too including a Texas philanthropist. The philanthropist was willing to help, but private money would only have reimbursed expenses and not helped the preschool go forward.

There are 18 Head Start programs in Connecticut, but only ABCD is being affected by the government shutdown.

"The withdrawal of support from the federal government, which is mired at this moment in political infighting, has left these families without many options," said Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch in a statement Wednesday.

Over the weekend, officials with the Connecticut Food Bank called ABCD and food was donated. The food was bagged up so each family with a Head Start student could have about two days worth of healthy food.

The Connecticut Food Bank will have a virtual food drive to help get more supplies for ABCD. For more information or to donate to the Connecticut Food Bank, click here.

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