5-year award ensures head start program remains available in an economically distressed area
(LOUISVILLE, KY–) Family & Children’s Place (F&CP) and its partner, Community Coordinated Child Care (4-C), announced that the agencies are moving forward with plans to serve more than 550 students over the next 5 years after it was announced that the groups will receive a more than $30 million grant from the federal government’s Office of Head Start to continue the Head Start and Early Head Start programs in Jefferson County. The organizations were selected to receive the grant after jointly applying for the contract this past spring and will serve families who are at the 100 percent poverty level or earn a little more than $25,000 annually.
“This partnership is a unique opportunity to reimagine Head Start as a birth-to-five program that leverages our best local expertise in center-based and home-based programming,” said Pam Darnall, president and CEO of F&CP.
“Family & Children’s Place leads our community’s efforts to ensure the safety of children, the strengthening of families, and the prevention of abuse and neglect, and is recognized as the exemplar home-based service provider in Jefferson County.”
Both Head Start and Early Head Start will be offered to the community. Parents of eligible children who participate will be able to choose from full-day, center-based services, five days per week, as well as Early Head Start home-based services—HANDS. Center-based services will be located in select neighborhoods including Portland, Park Duvalle, Shawnee, Shively, and several other high poverty areas, while the Early Head Start home-based services will be available county-wide. Darnall says that the F&CP currently serves over 500 families HANDS program which is aligned with the state’s Pre-K guidelines and was specifically designed to comply with the standards of programs working with vulnerable, highly stressed, low-income families. Since the 2017-18 program year, F&CP has received over 1400 referrals indicating a clear need and demand for home-based services.
“With this expansion of our home-based services, more families will have additional tools and resources to ensure their child is ready to learn and succeed on day one of their 13- year journey to high-school graduation,” said Darnall. “I am confident that through this grant, the investment we are making to ensure more kids have access to high quality and safe early childhood education will help us to cultivate a love of learning in these students.”
Cori Gadansky, executive director of Community Coordinated Child Care, agrees.
We are thrilled to be part of a collaboration that will leverage community assets to bring innovative approaches for early care and education to our community’s most vulnerable children,” Gadansky.
“Too often play-based, child-led early learning is limited to early care and education programs that serve the community’s most affluent families. 4-C is proud to increase access to high-quality options like these to more families.”
Over the next several months, both F&CP and 4-C will move forward to recruit and hire staff. Enrollment information, as well as applications for open positions, will be available in the coming weeks.
F&CP and 4-C have had a working relationship for the past 20 years, and, combined have more than 185 years of experience helping Louisville’s children and families succeed.
The Head Start and Early Head Start programs are administered by the Office of Head Start, within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Head Start promotes school readiness of children under 5 from low-income families through education, health, social and other services. Delivered through 1,700 agencies in local communities, Head Start and Early Head Start programs provide services to over a million children every year, in every U.S. state and territory.
“This new program will provide participants with an exceptional foundation for forming a healthy family. Healthy families form strong communities, which make brighter futures for all of us,” said Darnall.
Family & Children’s Place works to protect Kentuckiana children, families and communities from abuse, neglect, and exploitation and, through research-based, trauma-informed services, help them heal. The organization has supported families for more than 136 years and today serves approximately 5,000 children and families annually. For more information about Family and Children’s Place, visit www.famchildplace.org or call 502-893-3900.