(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin and Congressmen Jamie Raskin and David Trone (all D-Md.) announced $6,461,772 in federal funding for early childhood education in Montgomery County, Maryland. Awards include new funding for Montgomery County ($5,008,065) through the Head Start program and continuation funding for the Reginald S. Lourie Center for Infants & Young Children in Rockville ($1,453,707) through the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership.
“Too often, academic opportunity is limited by early education gaps that only grow wider,” the lawmakers said. “This funding will help hundreds of children in Montgomery County begin learning at a young age – when it can matter most – and build the foundation for their bright futures. We will keep working to support federal funding for Head Start programs throughout Maryland so that every child has the opportunity to succeed.”
Funds are awarded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The lawmakers have supported increased funding for Head Start programs throughout Maryland. Head Start and Early Head Start programs provide services to over a million children every year, in every U.S. state and territory, in farmworker camps, and in over 155 tribal communities. Head Start programming is responsive to the ethnic, cultural, and linguistic heritage of each child and family. More than 80 percent of children served by Head Start programs are 3- and 4-year-olds. Infants, toddlers, and pregnant women make up the remaining almost 20% of Head Start enrollment, and are served through Early Head Start programs. Early Head Start programs are available to the family until the child turns 3 years old and is ready to transition into Head Start or another pre-K program.