July 9, 2021

RI Head Start Programs Awarded $3 Million to Support Return to Full In-Person Learning

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline today announced that seven Head Start programs in Rhode Island have received a total of over $3 million from the American Rescue Plan. The funds will support the return to fully operational, in-person Head Start services for the children under the age of five who have been most affected by inequities exposed by the pandemic.

“This additional federal Head Start funding will support children, families, and educators across Rhode Island. It will help our youngest students return to classrooms and allow more parents to go back to work with peace of mind knowing their kids are safe and well cared for,” said Senator Reed.

“The pandemic prevented some of the youngest Rhode Islanders from reaping the benefits of in-person early learning,” said Senator Whitehouse. “This funding is so important because it will help Head Start programs get back up and running at full capacity to minimize the effects of that lost time and get kids off to a strong start.”

“Head Start provides a safe, supportive environment for young learners and is proven to set students up for academic success later in life,” said Rep. Langevin. “After the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted their education, this critical American Rescue Plan Act funding will help Rhode Island students get back up to speed and return to in-person learning this fall.”

“Head Start creates a level playing field for Rhode Island children, giving them a chance to succeed in the classroom,” Rep. Cicilline said. “This additional federal funding will help even more young Rhode Islanders get that shot at success.”

The Rhode Island Head Start programs receiving funding are:

• Children’s Friend and Service, Providence – $1,306,578

• Tri-County Community Action Agency, Johnston – $339,806

• Comprehensive Community Action, Cranston – $232,121

• Woonsocket Head Start Child Development Association, Woonsocket – $217,763

• Meeting Street, Providence – $86,148

• East Bay Community Action Program, East Providence/Newport – $406,810

• Community Help & Involvement In Low Income Decisions, Warwick – $442,705

“Children’s Friend is thankful to our entire Congressional delegation for their support of Head Start kids in the American Rescue Plan,” said David Caprio, President and Chief Executive Officer of Children’s Friend. “This funding will allow us to prepare for a full and safe re-opening of classrooms in September. Equally as important, this funding will allow Children’s Friend to operate our largest Summer Program ever, serving 400 children in-person, to make up for some of the learning loss that occurred throughout the pandemic.”

Nationally, $1 billion is being awarded to Head Start programs across the country to build back from the pandemic. ARP funds will support programming that prioritizes children who were not able to receive any in-person services during the pandemic, as well as rising kindergartners, children with disabilities, and children experiencing food or housing insecurity.

Head Start programs promote the school readiness of infants, toddlers, and preschool-aged children from low-income families. Head Start programs support children’s growth in a positive learning environment through a variety of services, which include early learning and development, health, and family well-being.

Press Contact

Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921