Shutdown impacts Head Start; Parents, teachers fear cuts to early education
Photo: Video by IdahoOnYourSide.com
18 3 to 5-year-old's learn inside a Happy Day Head Start classroom in Caldwell every afternoon.
The Canyon County facility serves almost 100 families. With the shutdown continuing parents and educators are concerned the shutdown will put a damper on education.
"It is affecting children and their families all over the place," parent Tiffany Combs said. "And, their losing something that is really valuable."
Head Start is federally funded and even though the doors are still open at Happy Day, employees at national and regional offices are furloughed and can't help local programs. Staff members say the longer the shutdown The greater potential for cuts.
"This community would notice if the Head Start was not here and up and running and serving the families that we serve," Happy Day supervisor Misty Krohn said.
Tiffany Combs feels her daughter thrives in this classroom and says this setting provides something essential. "She's given the opportunity to be able to learn and grow and she's able to also socially interact with other kids her age, something that I can't give her," Combs said. "I can't give her a full classroom full of kids her age every single day."
But every single day, the staff worries, knowing debt ceiling talks are in the near future. And, the success of this and other programs depend on the nation's struggling bottom line.
Monday night, a Texas couple made a $10 million donation to National Head Start, allowing centers forced to close in the beginning days of the shutdown to re-open.