Wed, Aug 28, 2013 07:22 PM
RUTLAND (AP) _ Vermont's Head Start programs will serve fewer
needy children this year following the mandatory federal budget
cuts known as sequestration.
Vermont's seven Head Start programs will be getting $800,000 less
this year, said Ben Allen, Vermont's Head Start collaborator.
That means the program has had to cut 15 teaching and seven home
visit positions and will serve 199 fewer needy children and their
families with services such as health and dental care
The state had 1,572 spaces for children and pregnant women in
their programs in September 2012. That number will drop to 1,373
The budget cuts affected some programs this summer.
Marianne Miller, director of Head Start and Early Head Start for
the Central Vermont Community Action Council, said her program,
which served 115 families in Washington, Orange and Lamoille
counties, had to close its locations this summer.
"I think very few people understand the impact of sequestration,''
The cuts are affecting other programs across the state.
The Windham County Head Start programs will serve 37 fewer
children after losing six of its 70 employees because of the
Paul Behrman, chairman of the Vermont Head Start Association, said
it makes no sense to cut a program that only serves about half the
people who are eligible for the services, such as a family of three
with a yearly household income of $19,530.
"The whole notion we are scaling back these programs is just
lunacy,'' he said.
According to the Champlain Valley Head Start, the percentage of
children who needed dental work and got it increased from 76
percent to 89 percent between 2009 and 2011. And the percentage of
children who were prepared for kindergarten jumped from 30 percent
to 61 percent, according to data collected by the program.