Government Shutdown

Local Head Start program open; others around state close

by Sarah Fay Campbell

The local Head Start program, operated by Community Action for Improvement, is not currently affected by the partial federal government shutdown.

Some Head Start programs are having to close because of federal funding issues, but CAFI's is not one of them.

Head Start and Early Head Start are comprehensive programs that provide education, health, nutrition and parent involvement services to low-income children and their families. Head Start is for 3-and 4-year-olds and Early Head Start is for pregnant women and children up to 3. It's a program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and eligibility is based on income.

CAFI provides Head Start and other services in the six county area of Coweta, Carroll, Heard, Meriwether, Harris and Troup. The Coweta Head Start programs are offered at East Newnan and Haralson. A small Head Start program at the Verona Rosser Center in Newnan was closed this year because of federal budget cuts known as sequestration. Enrollment was also reduced.

Whether a particular program is affected depends on when the program gets its federal grant funding. Some programs were set to get their grant funding Oct. 1.

Monday afternoon, the National Head Start Association announced that philanthropists Laura and John Arnold would provide up to $10 million in emergency funding to help reopen the closed Head Start programs.

As of Monday morning, Ninth District Opportunity Inc. in North Georgia had closed all 113 of its Head Start program, as well as 27 Pre-K classrooms, according to CBS Atlanta.

As of Oct. 1 when the shutdown began, there were 23 programs in 11 different states without grant money, according to Yasmina Vinci, executive director of the National Head Start Association. There are nearly 19,000 students in Head Start programs set to receive funding in October, said Sally Aman of the National Head Start Association.

If the government does not reopen by Nov. 1, additional Head Start programs serving more than 86,000 children in 41 states and one U.S. Territory stand to lose access to funding, according to Vinci.

“Leaders on Capitol Hill, mired in an absurd and childish stand-off and unable to decide on a budget, left potentially 19,000 vulnerable children without Head Start services today when they shut down the Federal Government," Vinci said on Oct. 1.

The closure of Head Start means that working parents unexpectedly lost their daycare and have to scramble to find fill in care, which can be exceptionally difficult to find, as well as expensive.

"What these parents aren't able to do is go to work, go to school," said Aman. "It's really a devastating ripple effect."



More Local

GBI investigating

Carrollton officer involved in deadly shooting

A Carrollton police officer shot and killed a man who reached for a gun Thursday, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. The GBI ... Read More


SummerGrove BP burglarized

Cash, cigarettes stolen from gas station

The Newnan Police Department is looking for suspects responsible for burglarizing the gas station near the SummerGrove neighborhood. Sometim ... Read More


Summer lunch programs offered for area children

Several programs will be offering free lunches to Coweta children this summer. All children are welcome to get lunches at three Newnan churc ... Read More


Man wanted for assaulting girlfriend

Newnan police are looking for a man suspected of assaulting and choking his girlfriend after celebrating his birthday. About 3:30 a.m. Thurs ... Read More


Times-Herald publisher speaks at Rotary

At Friday’s meeting of the Newnan Rotary Club, John Winters, publisher of The Newnan Times-Herald, spoke to the club’s members a ... Read More

Narcotics confiscated from suspect’s buttocks

A man was arrested Thursday night after investigators with the Newnan Police Department found he was trying to conceal a bag of pills in his ... Read More