Scott Applauds HHS’ Expansion of Head Start, Early Head Start Services in Flint
WASHINGTON – Ranking Member Robert C. “Bobby” Scott issued the following statement about today’s announcement that Head Start and Early Head Start services in Flint, Michigan will receive an additional $3.6 million from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Head Start. The funding will enhance and expand Head Start and Early Head Start for Flint’s children and families:
“The increased funding for Head Start and Early Head Start to improve access and expand the school year for Flint children is a step in the right direction. Head Start helps families access health and economic assistance programs, screens children for learning disabilities, serves children healthy foods that can mitigate the effects of lead poisoning, and provides parents with coaching services to help their children enter school kindergarten-ready.
“This one-time increase in funding, however, is not nearly enough to provide all Flint children with continuous, wraparound services that will mitigate the effects of lead exposure throughout their childhood. As Committee Democrats have made clear, it will take more than $160 million this year alone and over $1.3 billion over 10 years in supplemental funding – just for programs within our Committee’s jurisdiction – to ensure all children in Flint get the help they need. This funding would be used, among other efforts, to provide children with nutritious meals rich in the vitamins and minerals known to mitigate lead’s effects, provide all Flint children with developmental screenings and fully serve those who require special education services, and help prevent a rise in violent behavior, which research shows is a likely occurrence from exposure to high lead levels.
“Congress must do more to ensure all children in Flint receive the academic, nutrition, and health supports they need to recover from this state government-inflicted disaster. This award, therefore, is a good step in the right direction, but it constitutes just a beginning; much more will be needed to mitigate the damage done to the residents of Flint, Michigan.”
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