Five communities have been chosen to receive federal funding to launch a pilot program called “Birth-to-Five”: Baltimore; Detroit; Jersey City, N.J.; Sunflower County, Miss.; and Washington, D.C.
The program combines Early Head Start and Head Start services, resulting in a continuum of care from birth through the start of elementary school, including services for expectant families. In the past grantees needed to submit two different applications for funding for Early Head Start (pregnant women, infants, and toddlers) and Head Start Programs (preschool-aged children). The new streamlined efforts are geared to give grantees more program flexibility and increased consistency for clients accessing services.
The Office of Head Start at the Administration for Children and Families has undertaken several reforms. In addition to the application re-design, Head Start now requires grantees who aren’t meeting certain benchmarks to compete with other potential early childhood education providers for continued funding. The Office of Head Start has also initiated a large scale improvement of the grantee training and technical assistance system.
The preliminary grantees and proposed funding for each community are below:
Baltimore – $29 million
- Associated Catholic Charities
- Maryland Family Network
- Mayor and City Council of Baltimore City
- St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore, Inc.
- YMCA of Central Maryland
Detroit – $48 million
- Matrix Human Services
- Metropolitan Children & Youth
- New St. Paul Tabernacle
- Starfish Family Services
Jersey City – $8 million
- Bergen County Community Action Partnership, Inc.
Sunflower County, Miss.
- Save the Children, Inc.
Washington, D.C. – $17 million
- Bright Beginnings, Inc.
- District of Columbia Public Schools
- Rosemount Center
- United Planning Organization
For more information on the “Birth to Five” Pilot program click here.
Judith Fenlon is the Money and Business Editor of the Chronicle of Social Change