Early head start funding restored

Published 7:00 am Thursday, April 10, 2014

Funding for the Early Head Start Program in Picayune has been restored to pre-sequestration levels.

The announcement was made during Tuesday’s Picayune Municipal Separate School District Board meeting.

Assistant Superintendent Brent Harrell said the restored funding will re-establish three classes capable of instructing eight students each and restore six jobs.

While the restored funding will not reduce the already long waiting list of families applying to participate in the program, it does mean more children and parents will be able to receive the benefits this program provides.

It is well known that when children receive proper instruction at an early age, the better they perform in school and subsequently in life. This program provides reinforcement in many aspects of a child’s development

The Early Head Start and Head Start programs serve families from prenatal to kindergarten. In addition to providing education, the program teaches parents about a child’s nutritional needs and connects them to health care professionals. However, limited funding means an application process is required, leading to a long waiting list.

While not every family in Mississippi can take advantage of this program, those who participate receive just what the name implies, a head start.

Children are our greatest resource. It is the responsibility of parents, and the community, to give them every possible advantage to succeed in life. While most of that responsibility falls on the parents, it really does take a village to raise a child.

Let’s continue to support this worthwhile program by letting your local representatives know how much good it does, and should continue to do.