WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) today announced that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded $4.75 million to fund Head Start programs in Essex and Union counties.
The Head Start programs that this grant will fund will be managed by The Leaguers, Inc., a non-profit based in Newark which currently serves 1,168 low income children and their families. Head Start is designed to promote the school readiness of children ages birth to five from low-income families by enhancing their cognitive, social and emotional development.
“Organizations like The Leaguers help our youngest New Jerseyans get a head start on crucial educational and social development so they don’t fall behind when they reach kindergarten and beyond,” said Menendez. “It’s vital that Head Start programs get the funding they need to maximize their reach and impact on our children since research indicates that all children, and disadvantaged children in particular, benefit greatly from quality early childhood education and care.”
“This federal funding will help provide disadvantaged children in Essex and Union counties with educational resources to help them succeed,” said Lautenberg. “Head Start programs have proven to be successful time and again, and I will continue fighting for the children and communities that need them.”
The Head Start program provides grants to local public and private non-profit and for-profit agencies to provide comprehensive child development services to economically disadvantaged children and families, with a special focus on helping preschoolers develop the early reading and math skills they need to be successful in school. Head Start programs provide comprehensive services to enrolled children and their families, which include health, nutrition, social services and other services determined to be necessary by family needs assessments, in addition to education and cognitive development services.