March 27, 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King today announced that three Maine organizations will receive a total of $5,089,766 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to strengthen Head Start and Early Head Start programs that promote early childhood development opportunities for children in poverty. The York County Community Action Corporation in Sanford, Androscoggin Head Start and Child Care in Lewiston, and Midcoast Maine Community Action in Bath will use the funding to develop new approaches to learning, strengthen social and emotional development programs, and expand physical health education.
“Head Start programs are instrumental in helping young children cultivate new skills and provide them educational opportunities, while also allowing their parents to participate more fully in the workforce,” said Senators Collins and King in a joint statement. “This funding is a significant investment in Maine’s youth and the dedicated teachers and staff at these three organizations who work hard to make their communities stronger. Our children are our future and this federal investment will help us deliver on our promise to them, while helping parents get back to their fulfilling jobs and careers.”
The funding is allocated as follows:
Head Start was established in 1965 to promote school readiness and provide a comprehensive array of health, nutritional and social services to poverty-stricken preschoolers and their families. Head Start services include early learning, health, and family well-being. In 2021, the latest year with data available, Maine’s Head Start chapter operated 24 programs, with 240 classrooms. The federal government provides 80% of the annual cost to operate Head Start with the remaining 20% of funding from matching contributions. The Office of Head Start (OHS) administers grant funding and oversight to the local agencies that provide Head Start services in Maine and across the country.