The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has authorized the Neighborhood and Community Services to apply for grant funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. If the grant is approved by HHS then the funds would be used for the County’s Early Head Start Child Care partnership and expansion programs.
The funding that Neighborhood and Community Services is asking for would be in the amount of $1,088, 500 which would include a local cash match of $194,402. There is also an amount of $28,135 that will come from in-kind contributions.
If the application is approved then the funding would go to already existing services that are being provided by NCS to 56 infants and toddlers as well as their families.
The grant would be the latest in a series of funding for the program going back to 2015, the first was a five-year grant which expired in June 2019. The project was awarded continued funding for another five-year project and this new grant that NCS is applying for would represent year three of the five-year project which would provide funding between July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022.
The funding will provide this in two ways, the first in order to sustain or establish new partnerships with up to 15 regulated family child care providers located in areas across Fairfax County where there is the greatest need for Early Head Start services. According to county documents this would be necessary for at least 40 children that have been documented with such needs.
The second would support the expansion of two classrooms at the existing Early Head Start center-based option at the program in Gum Springs Glen. This would provide services for at least 16 children according to county documents.
According to their website, Early Head Start is national child development program that provides quality early childhood education and comprehensive support services to income eligible families with children of expectant parents up to three years old. EHS is an offshoot of the Head Start program which was founded in 1965 as a part of the War on Poverty that was initiated by President Lyndon B. Johnson.
The qualifications for children and families to receive these services must live in areas of the county that have high poverty rates, that large numbers of children enrolled in the program and health services, lack of affordable housing, lack of transportation, and large populations of immigrant families in need of such services.
The original Head Start program has served over 30 million children and their families in urban and rural areas across the country and its territories.