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Government shutdown leaves 19,000 children without Head Start services

The government shutdown has caused as many as 19,000 children to lose access to Head Start today, the National Head Start Association reported Tuesday.

More than 20 programs across 11 states did not get the annual grant they had been scheduled to receive Tuesday and cannot provide early education and related social services to children and families.

“On the heels of devastating sequester cuts which closed windows of opportunity for more the than 57,000 at-risk children who lost their Head Start slots, Washington’s budget battles have harmed even more of America’s most vulnerable families,” said Yasmina Vinci, executive director of the National Head Start Association in a news release.

Just over a million children are enrolled in Head Start programs across the country. Annual grants are awarded around the calendar year, so most programs can continue to operate off their existing grants. But starting today, no new grants will be made.

Michael Alison Chandler writes about schools and families in the Washington region.

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