Head Start Programs Receive Over $4 Million In Federal Funds

U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY, have announced over $4 million in funding for educational programs for low-income children in Chautauqua County.

The programs include Head Start, Early Head Start and Early Head Start Expansion programs with its biggest offices located in Jamestown and Dunkirk. The breakdown of the funds are as follows: Head Start and Early Head Start programs will receive $2,868,278 and the Early Head Start Expansion-Child Care Parternship Program will receive $1,343,093, which was allocated through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service.

Early Head Start and Head Start are important facets of education, Schumer said.

“Study after study shows that the better we prepare our young children, through programs like Early Head Start, and Head Start the better they perform in school later in life,” he said. “This federal funding for Chautauqua Opportunities Inc. will bring real results to Western New York’s young students, by providing them with the resources they need to succeed both in and out of the classroom. I am proud to support this essential funding and I will continue to fight to see that early child education remains a priority.”

Gillibrand said the funding will be helpful for those who need it most.

“Head Start programs help our children start out strong at critical early learning stages,” Gillibrand said. “These federal funds will help Chautauqua Opportunities, Inc., support important educational programs for children and will reduce the cost of high-quality early childhood education for some of the most vulnerable in our community. I will always fight in the Senate to make sure that all New Yorkers have the opportunity to reach their full potential.”

This is not the first time the pair have teamed up to provide Early Head Start funding in Chautauqua County. In 2015, Gillibrand and Schumer announced an allocation of $1.3 million for COI’s Head Start and Early Head Start programs.

The Head Start program began as a summer program in 1965, named “Project Head Start” as part of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s “War on Poverty,” according to the Office of Head Start. The program was designed to react to the communities it served, and provide support and development for low-income children. In the past 50 years, Head Start has served more than 30 million children, and currently includes all-day programming and a wide array of services.

Chautauqua Opportunities officials were unable to be reached as of Friday evening.