Thursday, March 07, 2013

What happens to Head Start money after it leaves Washington’s bureaucracy?

Here in Franklin County, some if goes for “Sisterhood”  CDCFC is a nonprofit organization funded by the U.S. Office of Head Start. Since 1985, CDCFC has provided comprehensive early education and development services to income-eligible Head Start preschool children, ages 3-5, and their families. An Early Head Start program was added in spring 2007, to serve pregnant women and children ages 0-3.  Its budget went from $200,000 25 years ago to $20 million in 2011 for 3800 children.

“CDCFC (Child Development Council of Franklin County, Inc)  has created the Sisterhood Program, a new initiative for women involved in the lives of Head Start and Early Head Start children. Designed to empower and motivate women to be self-sufficient, and to take control of their lives, the Sisterhood Program utilizes individualized and/or group education, support and advocacy services to aid members in becoming productive, involved members of their communities. One of the program’s primary goals is to provide support for members as they deal with life’s challenges, while also improving their positive self image and their feelings of self worth. The group will do several community outreach projects throughout the year as well, including neighborhood “clean-ups,” aiding the homeless, and motivational speaking, to encourage other women.”

Head Start’s funding in Franklin County, Ohio  per child is $7,816; funding for Early Head Start is $10,984; funding for Early Head Start ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) slots is $15,562. Head Start employs 400 and brings $20 million in federal dollars to Columbus' economy. And that's why it will always get funding; not because it helps children prepare to read and do math in school, but because it "helps" our economy. (figures from 2011 annual report)

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