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HCDE Expands Head Start Services from Infancy to Preschool through $11.7 Million Grant; Families Urged to Enroll

Harris County Department of Education has been awarded a $11.7 million federal Head Start grant for the 2020-2021 school year. The new grant allows HCDE to expand comprehensive childcare and school readiness services to families in its northeast Harris County service area. HCDE Head Start will serve 1,000 preschoolers ages 3-5 and 64 children ages 6 weeks to 3. “As we recruit families for the 2020-2021 school year, we shift to offering comprehensive services to families beginning at infancy, supplying low-income families or families of children with disabilities the support they need to raise healthy children who are successful throughout their school years,” HCDE Head Start Senior Director Venetia Peacock said. The grant provides Early Head Start services expansion for children ages 6 weeks to 3 years within the Tidwell and La Porte Head Start communities. HCDE already serves 100 Baytown-area infants and toddlers through a separate Early Head Start grant. HCDE’s Head Start service area covers approximately 600 miles of the northeast and southeast sections of Harris County, including downtown Houston. Twelve school districts fall within HCDE’s service borders, including Channelview, Clear Creek, Crosby, Deer Park, Galena Park, Goose Creek Consolidated, Houston, Huffman, Humble, La Porte, Pasadena and Sheldon. “The importance of serving low-income children and their families in Harris County has never been more critical,” said Peacock. “More than 15 percent of uninsured Texas children live in Harris County.
“In addition, Harris County has approximately 350,000 children under age 5, but only six percent are enrolled in preschool programs.”
The grant provides $10.4 million for Head Start services and $1.3 million for Early Head Start services and goes into effect July 1, 2020. Head Start ensures future success for students both academically and socially and provides comprehensive health, education, nutrition and financial services to families. Healthy meals and snacks are provided for students during the day. Parent involvement opportunities are provided along with service referrals to meet family needs. Family engagement activities are hallmark to the program. Eligible children are those from low-income families and with disabilities between ages 6 weeks to 5 years of age. Applicants will need to present the following at registration: • Proof of age: child’s state birth certificate, state birth facts or passport • Proof of address: lease contract, current utility bill, state ID, benefits letter or paycheck stub • Proof of income: current tax form (W-2 or 1040), 12 months of check stubs, child support payment record, verification of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or Supplemental Security Income. To get information about enrolling your child in HCDE Head Start in 2020-2021, call 713-672-9343 or go to http://www.hcde-texas.org/head-start . Source: HCDE