Head Start to see impact from Sequestration - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Head Start to see impact from Sequestration

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A representative from the White House released numbers of potential impacts of the sequester earlier this week, and that report estimated 1,600 Mississippi children could lose access to early education. A representative from the White House released numbers of potential impacts of the sequester earlier this week, and that report estimated 1,600 Mississippi children could lose access to early education.
HINDS COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Late Friday evening, President Barack Obama signed an order triggering mandatory government-wide spending cuts. The Magnolia State won't be immune to them. One federally funded program that could take a hard hit is Head Start.

"As of today, we still have not gotten any directives from the regional Head Start office and so like everyone else, we're waiting to hear," said Angelique Rawls of the Hinds County Human Resource Agency.

A representative from the White House released numbers of potential impacts of the sequester earlier this week, and that report estimated 1,600 Mississippi children could lose access to early education.

"It sets the foundation really for life. In Head Start, children are learning the basics of math, language, communication. All the things that they'll need to go and succeed in school and not only in school but throughout life," said Rawls.

Although, the idea of learning from an early age is critical, the effects of these budget cuts could extend far past just Head Start years.

"This potentially rocks their foundation for what they could become in life," argued Rawls.

Many of the children that Hinds County Head Start serves are from low-income families.

"With the costs of quality child care and preschool, it's essential for some people. Without it, their children would otherwise not be enrolled in school," explained Rawls.

The uncertainty of the program's future has many directors on edge.

"So, we're gravely concerned and while we don't know the impact, we realize that if it's just one child, that's one too many," Rawls said.

The regional Head Start Director was unavailable for comment.

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