WASHINGTON, DC – The following statement should be attributed jointly to Yasmina Vinci, Executive Director of the National Head Start Association.
“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. In 23 programs across 11 different states, Head Start programs are now without grant money critical to the delivery of Head Start’s high-quality early education.
On the heels of devastating sequester cuts which closed windows of opportunity for more the than 57,000 at-risk children who lost their Head Start slots, Washington’s budget battles have harmed even more of America’s most vulnerable families.
Beyond the headline numbers, this shutdown has real consequences. Community Action of Franklin, Hampshire, and North Quabbin – a Head Start program in Massachusetts – was forced by sequester to start their school year one month later than normal. They opened their doors only yesterday. But today, they may have to shut their doors again because the government shutdown has halted their funding.
This abdication of responsibility by Congress and leaders in Washington has further displaced the at-risk children already reeling from sequester. Government shutdown is one cut atop an already deep wound."
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Additional information about the National Head Start Association can be found at www.nhsa.org