Monday, October 14, 2013 at 5:17 PM
So far, no Head Start programs in Ohio have been affected by the federal government shutdown. But the director of the state's association of Head Start programs says that could start to change if the shutdown persists.
Barbara Haxton with the Ohio Head Start Association says if there’s no resolution to the shutdown, 11 Head Start facilities across the state will shut down, stranding 2,000 kids and over a thousand staffers. That’s out of the about 40,000 preschoolers enrolled in the program in the state.
“If those agencies close, families will be looking for additional care for their children during the day, staff will be laid off—hopefully collecting unemployment for the duration—and programs will be shut down,” Haxton said. “It’s really a bad scene.”
And Haxton says there would be a lot of work to do to help those kids catch up once the shutdown is resolved. She says the impact could be felt for months and even years, because kids could lose the progress they’ve made, and those facilities could lose contact with their families if they have to go into other day care arrangements.
“There would be make-up work to happen, we’d probably also lose some children, because if parents have to find other care for their child, they may not want to move them again,” she said. “So it’s a loss for everybody. The entire situation is a very negative experience.”
Haxton says around a thousand Head Start staffers would also be furloughed in November if the shutdown drags on.
An additional quote from Barbara Haxton.
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