*** MEDIA ADVISORY ***
CARDIN TO VISIT HEAD START CENTER TO TALK ABOUT IMPACT OF SEQUESTRAITON ON MARYLAND
Sequestration could reduce number of children in Head Start by 900 statewide; 200 Baltimore City children could lose
On Friday, March 15, U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) will visit St. Jerome’s Head Start program to highlight what sequestration could mean to funding for the Head Start program and how it would affect Maryland children and families. The Maryland Board of Revenue Estimates projects that our state could lose $55 million in education funding for next year. Such severe cuts would mean as many as 900 children would be unable to enroll in Head Start. Baltimore City’s Office of Head Start is projecting cuts of $1.5 million beginning in July, which could directly impact more than 200 children and their families. Currently, more than 12,700 children are enrolled in Head Start programs statewide and more than 3,400 Baltimore City children are enrolled in Head Start. St. Jerome’s Head Start program has 278 children enrolled and 50 staff members.
The Head Start program was created in 1965 and it provides comprehensive child development, educational, health and nutrition services to economically disadvantaged children and families with a special focus on pre-school reading and math skills. Research shows that the Head Start programs work. Low-income children who attend the program make significant gains in vocabulary, writing and letter recognition, and they have access to health care. These children arrive at school prepared to do better academically than children not enrolled in the program.