GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - A Grand Rapids family is worried its daughter may be cut from the Head Start for Kent County program next year because of a loss of federal funding.
Letters were sent home to parents last week, informing them the program will end two weeks early this year because of the sequester. Other cuts for this year are minimal.
The big concern is next year -- and no one knows yet exactly how the cuts will affect the program.
About $600,000 in federal funding to Kent County's program was cut. That is about 5% of its budget.
That may not sound like a lot, but the program serves more than 1,700 parents and kids who may not otherwise be able to afford similar educational services.
Angela Blake said Head Start helped her 4-year-old daughter, Andraleis, establish social skills and learn the basics for kindergarten.
"Writing, knowing her alphabet, shapes, colors, trying to read, writing her name," Blake explained.
She said she is not sure what her family will do if Andraleis can't attend Head Start next year.
"Our income is very tight," said Blake. "We're cutting coupons. It's very tight so we are going to have to do a lot of research to see what's available. What other programs are out there for our income and this child."
The family is not on food stamps and is middle class, which means it makes too much to get many forms of aid. It wants a preschool program that will help its little girl learn the skills needed to be successful in school.
"She's certainly is doing very well and is thriving," Blake said.
And her family wants that to continue.
Enrollment for the 2013-14 program year has already started and will continue.
The year-round program for pregnant women, infants and toddlers is not getting cut at this time.
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