FiveCAP Head Start Receives Grant to Extend Service Hours

BALDWIN — FiveCAP, Inc. announced federal award to increase center hours. The local head start program, serving Mason, Manistee, Lake and Newaygo counties, was one of 665 in the nation to receive the grant. The award was in the amount of $249,239 to extend service hours. The implementation date is September 2017.

On Jan. 3, 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services, Agency of Children and Families made the announcement and stated that, “The grant is an important investment for children and families. Funds will help ensure that our communities are able to offer increased availability of full day and full year slots.”

Mary L. Trucks, executive director, said, “The grant will impact 31 percent of the 402 area head start and early head start slots."

Federal Head Start Performance Standards require programs offer full day and full year services by the year 2021.

A study by the National Institute of Early Education Research (NIEER) found the benefits of full-day preschool programs are significant for children from low-income families. The results show children attending a full-day program do better in mathematics and literacy than children in a half-day program.

Further, research found children attending a full day program have doubled their vocabulary. According to the Hart, Risley study, “The Early Catastrophe: The 30 Million Word Gap by Age 3," it is estimated children from low-income families are hearing 30 million words less than children coming from a higher-income family.