April 01, 2009

(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen announced today that the Belknap-Merrimack County Community Action Program (CAP) in Concord will receive $1,172,376 in discretionary grant funding for Head Start programs through the Department of Health and Human Services.


“As a former teacher, I know that early childhood education is the key to future success in school, and Head Start programs play a crucial role making sure all children are ready for school,” said Shaheen. “I’m glad these funds are going to Belknap and Merrimack counties to help give students the chance to excel in school and beyond.”


Many economists agree that for every dollar invested in quality early childhood education, our economy receives $7 to $10 in return. Throughout her career, Senator Shaheen has made it a priority to expand opportunities for young children. As Governor, she fought to expand public kindergarten, opening the doors to an additional 25,000 children. To increase awareness about the importance of early learning, she launched a comprehensive statewide campaign that brought the business community to the table for the first time and formed the Business Partners for Early Learning. Since arriving in the Senate, Senator Shaheen has supported significant increases in funding for Head Start programs and quality child care.


The Head Start program provides grants to local public and private non-profit and for-profit agencies to provide comprehensive child development services to economically disadvantaged children and families, with a special focus on helping preschoolers develop the early reading and math skills they need to be successful in school. The program grew in 1995 to include the Early Head Start program, which was established to serve children from birth to three years of age in recognition of the mounting evidence that the earliest years matter a great deal to children's growth and development.


Head Start programs promote school readiness by enhancing the social and cognitive development of children by providing educational, health, nutritional, social and other services to enrolled children and families. They engage parents in their children's learning and help them in making progress toward their educational, literacy and employment goals. Head Start emphasizes parent involvement in its programs.


For more information about the Head Start program, please visit:

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Alex Reese