NORTH COUNTRY, N.Y. (WWTI) —  Head Start projects in North Country counties will be receiving funding to help continue providing the community with early childhood education at no cost.

Specifically, $1,968,378 has been awarded to the Joint Council for Economic Opportunity, Inc.’s Head Start program in Clinton and Franklin Counties. The programs combine parent involvement, education, health services, social services, and services to children with disabilities to benefit the community.

According to the JCEO website, the organization provides Early Head Start for pregnant mothers, infants, and toddlers until age 3, and Head Start for children ages 3 to 5. However, each program works with each family’s individual needs.

Their Early Head Start program is home-based and also brings all of the families involved together twice a month in an effort to foster children’s social and emotional growth and friendships for the parents. JCEO’s Head Start program has both a center and home-based option.

The center-based option has children in the classroom for a 6-hour day, Monday through Friday. Home visits are provided in the home-based option once a week for an hour and a half and socialization is offered twice a month.

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik said in a press release that the programs are critical in promoting school readiness for low-income children.

“I am proud to announce that nearly two million in taxpayer dollars will be returned back to the North Country in the form of this grant,” Congresswoman Stefanik said. “Head Start is a crucial program for many North Country families, and it is essential that we continue to provide federal resources to support its mission of ensuring school readiness. I will continue to advocate for funding for programs like this that have incredible impact in our rural communities.” 

Those interested in getting involved in the program can find more information and apply on the JCEO website.