The Kansas Head Start Association says more than 400 fewer children will be able to take part in Head Start programs in Kansas because of the recent mandatory
federal budget cuts.
Mrs. Donna Hudson-Hamilton, Early Childhood Connections Director, told Hays Post those federal cuts had a local impact.
“The sequestration cuts impacted this school year. For our program, we had to cut services to nine children/families, eliminated partnerships with other programs, and reduction or transfer of positions in staff. We tried to absorb the cut through attrition of staff but did have to release a support staff member and reduce hours for others.”
Before the federal budget cuts took effect earlier this year, Kansas Head Start programs had more than 9,000 slots for children from low-income families. The programs are designed to combat poverty by offering preschool education, improving early-childhood nutrition and well-being, and encouraging parental involvement.
The federal cuts took more than 5 percent from Head Start budgets this year. The Kansas Head Start Association says that leaves Kansas with 440 fewer Head Start and Early Head Start slots.