CARES Act helps fund local Head Start

Sierra Cascade Family Opportunities has received $174,004 through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, according to a statement from the agency. These funds will support Head Start services to low-income children under the age of 5 in Lassen, Modoc, and Plumas counties.

The Sierra Cascade Family Opportunities Head Start summer programs in Susanville and Portola will provide a full range of comprehensive services to the extent possible, with a focus on preparing children for the coming school year.

“The Head Start summer program will provide a social and emotionally supportive learning environment and consistent daily routines to children who are entering kindergarten in the fall,” said Brenda Poteete, executive director. “It will also support children in getting up to date on the medical, dental, and other follow-up services they need to succeed in school.”

The Sierra Cascade Family Opportunities Head Start program also plans to use the CARES Act funding to provide critical support to enrolled children and families.

“During this crisis, we have been able to provide crisis response to our Head Start families, mental wellness support, connection to community resources, and distance learning opportunities for both children and parents.” Poteete said. “We have also trained all of our staff in infectious disease management as we prepare to reopen all of our classrooms in the fall.” Sierra Cascade Family Opportunities is also using the CARES Act funding to resume services. “To safely resume Head Start and Early Head Start services, we are do extensive disinfecting & cleaning of facilities & playgrounds,” Brenda Poteete said. “The health and safety of each child in our care is our highest priority.”

Nationally, $750 million has been designated for Head Start programs to support preventative, preparedness and response activities related to the Coronavirus through the CARES Act. To support low-income children who have experienced a disruption of services during this time, programs will provide supplemental summer Head Start programs as they are able. Funds will be released directly to all 1,600 local Head Start and Early Head Start programs, including tribal programs, in every state and territory beginning this week.

“President Trump has secured more than $6 billion in funding to help supplement human services during this crisis,” said U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. “This $750 million for Head Start will help ensure that children and families who rely on the program continue receiving services like meals, health screenings and pre-K education where possible. As we move toward safely reopening, it only grows more important that we support vulnerable families and children whose lives have been disrupted by the virus and its economic effects.”

“We know that investing in programs that use a whole family approach to learning and development can be pivotal to the success of children and families,” said Lynn Johnson, assistant secretary for the Administration for Children and Families. “During this pandemic, it is important to support programs that enrich and enlighten children, families, and communities as they work towards their goals and make concentrated efforts to improve their future post the pandemic.”

Learn more about Sierra Cascade Family Opportunities Head Start at headstart4u.org. Follow us on and Facebook at facebook.com/headstart4u.org/.

Sierra Cascade Family Opportunities Head Start and Early Head Start are currently recruiting children and families for fall enrollment. Interested parents may call them at (800 )404-1242.

Find additional information about Head Start programming specific to this public health crisis on the Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center website: eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/coronavirus.

More News