COVINGTON, Ga. — More than 100 children in Newton County will be the beneficiaries of funding earmarked for local Head Start programs as part of the American Rescue Plan.
U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Lithonia, announced he helped secure $562,355 for McIntosh Trail Early Childhood Development Council as part of an overall $6 million grant that will benefit five area Head Start programs.
McIntosh Trail enrolls 120 children in its location near Porterdale.
It sponsors 25 Head Start and eight pre-kindergarten classrooms in seven counties, including Newton, with a total enrollment of 629 children, according to information from the agency.
“This investment will help our local Head Start programs continue preparing Georgia kids for success and help parents get back to work growing our economy knowing their kids are safe and cared for,” Johnson said.
Johnson also secured $2,696,911 for YMCA of Metro Atlanta/Early Childhood Development Co.; $2,394,197 for Easter Seals North Georgia, Inc.; $263,230 for CDI Head Start/DeKalb and Rockdale counties; and $220,156 for Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning.
Easter Seals North Georgia operates 14 child development centers in Metro Atlanta, including one in Monroe, according to the agency's website.
Donna Davidson, president and CEO of Easter Seals North Georgia, said, “This investment will allow our organization to continue to support our staff, children and families during this unprecedented time by allowing for extended year programming, facility safety upgrades, staff training and wellness supports, along with other components supporting in-person, comprehensive services.”
Head Start is a national program that provides comprehensive developmental services for low-income, pre-school children ages 3 to 5 and social services for their families. Specific services for children focus on education, socio-emotional development, physical and mental health, and nutrition. It is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Pre-K is funded by the state Bright from the Start agency, previously known as the Office of School Readiness.