The Head Start/Early Head Start Program in Pulaski County, which has been administered by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences' Department of Pediatrics since 1998, has received a $41 million grant from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The grant will be used to operate the program and is structured to provide $8.2 million a year for five years. Head Start/Early Head Start is a federally funded program focused on increasing the school readiness of low-income children.
The Pulaski County program serves more than 700 students, ages 6 weeks to 5 years, and their families through center- and home-based programs.
The grant will also fund some changes, including:
An increase in the number of children served by Early Head Start and home-based programs, with an emphasis on pregnant women, teen moms and a growing Latino community;
Centralization of services and consolidation of centers from 12 facilities to nine;
Collaboration with the University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College (it will be a hub location, serving up to 249 children and housing the program's administrative office, and the program will use the college’s resources and staff);
Use of the Shine Early Learning Teacher Success Rubric to strengthen teacher performance; and
The hiring of two deputy directors.