Federal spending cuts are hitting 57,000 children who would have started preschool in the next few weeks.
The Administration for Children and Families reported Monday that 51,299 fewer children will begin Head Start preschool programs and 5,966 fewer toddlers will enter Early Head Start programs due to the $85 billion in federal budget cuts called sequester.
In Merced County, Calif., 52 fewer preschoolers were enrolled in Head Start programs and 12 fewer toddlers enrolled in Early Head Start programs.
Capital Area Head Start in Harrisburg, Pa., had to cut 68 incoming preschoolers from attending programs this year. It also laid off 15 staffers after the state turned down a request for more funding.
“We didn’t get (the expanded funding), so sequester had a much more significant impact than we had hoped,” said Jo Pepper, director of that program.
Head Start programs provide early childhood education for lower income families who…
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