Community Action obtains Early Head Start expansion grant
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[December 22, 2009]
As part of the American Recovery
and Reinvestment Act, Early Head Start expansion dollars were made
available earlier this year. Community Action Partnership of Central
Illinois took advantage of the opportunity and completed the grant
application process in July. The agency announced Monday that it has
successfully obtained a grant to provide home-based Early Head Start
services to 80 children in central Illinois.
The Early Head Start program is for
low-income infants, toddlers, pregnant women and their families. It
is an extension of the Head Start program that provides preschool
education to 338 3- to 5-year-olds throughout Community Action's
six-county service area. The expanded program will be operated in
DeWitt, Fulton, Logan, Mason and Menard counties.
Early Head Start
enhances children's physical, social, emotional and intellectual
development; assists pregnant women to access comprehensive prenatal
and postpartum care; supports parents' efforts to fulfill their
parental roles; and helps parents move toward self-sufficiency.
Home-based services will bring Early Head Start staff into family
homes every week to support child development and to nurture the
parent-child relationship. Twice per month, the program will offer
opportunities for parents and children to come together as a group
for learning, discussion and social activity.
"The years before a child reaches kindergarten are among the most
critical in his or her life to influence learning," said Beth
Fleshman, Head Start director. "Research tells us that the
achievement gap is already measurable and apparent by 18 months of
age. Early Head Start is part of the solution in lessoning that gap
so that low-income children have the support and stimulation they
need to be successful in the long run."
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Applications for the Early Head Start program will be available on
Jan. 11, with anticipated services to start in the beginning of
Community Action serves the low-income and senior populations of
six central Illinois counties. For more information, visit
[Text from file received from
Community Action Partnership of