HAMILTON — Butler County Educational Service Center (BCESC) is slated to receive $697,883 in Butler County and $119,518 in Preble County through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. These funds will support Head Start services to low-income children under the age of five in Butler and Preble counties.
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 are now in the process of being released directly to all 1,600 local Head Start and Early Head Start programs, including tribal programs.
“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.”
BCESC’s Head Start program is using CARES Act funding to resume services. “To safely resume Head Start services, we are hiring more staff, leasing additional space to resume visits with families, and purchasing items required to provide a healthy and safe environment. We are also looking at adding some technology for families that we will serve remotely,” said BCESC Early Childhood Programs Director Suzanne Prescott. “The health and safety of each child in our care is our highest priority.”
BCESC’s Head Start summer programs provide a full range of comprehensive services to the fullest extent possible, with a focus on preparing children for the coming school year. 153 children in Butler County and 43 children in Preble County are currently attending locations in Fairfield, Hamilton, Middletown, West Chester, Camden, Eaton and Lewisburg.
“The Head Start summer program provides a socially and emotionally supportive learning environment and consistent daily routines to children who are entering kindergarten in the fall,” said Prescott. “It will also support children in getting up to date on medical, dental, and other follow-up services they will need to succeed in school.”
For more information on BCESC’s Head Start Programs, visit www.bcesc.org or follow Butler County ESC on Twitter and Facebook.
Head Start is currently recruiting children and families for fall enrollment. Contact us at (513) 785-6850 to enroll.
Find additional information about Head Start programming specific to this public health crisis on the Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center website: https://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/coronavirus