August 19, 2013

Udall: Over $27 million for NM Head Start

Senator applauds funding, says more needs to be done for NM children and families

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Tom Udall today announced that the Mid-West New Mexico Community Action Program (NMCAP) will receive $5,494,451 a year for the next five years, totaling more than $27 million to continue their Head Start projects helping children in Valencia, Socorro, Cibola and McKinley counties. In 2012, Mid-West NMCAP helped nearly 1,000 children, with almost 75 percent living in households with income below the federal poverty line.

"New Mexico's future relies on the success of its children, and we know that giving children a strong early start in school can make all the difference," Udall said. "Head Start is a key educational and wellness program that helps our children and families who need it the most. While this funding will help our partners continue some of this essential work, the sequester has undermined many programs like Head Start. This is unacceptable, and I will continue to work against these cuts that disproportionately hurt New Mexico's most vulnerable children and families."

The Head Start program provides comprehensive child development services to economically disadvantaged children and families, with a special focus on helping preschoolers develop the early reading and math skills they need to be successful in school. Head Start programs promote school readiness by enhancing the social and cognitive development of children through the provision of educational, health, nutritional, social and other services to enrolled children and families.

The Community Action Partnership was established in 1971 as the National Association of Community Action Agencies and is the national organization representing the interests of the 1,000 Community Action Agencies working to fight poverty at the local level.

The funding is being awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).