Get your rage pants on, kids, because there are only a few things up there with nine million children getting denied federal assistance in the wake of the government shutdown. And that’s 3,200 preschoolers now having their schools shuttered.
The Wall Street Journal reports that four Head Start programs have closed this week, a program that serves underprivileged Americans. Another 11 programs will reportedly close by Friday –as in tomorrow — if politicians don’t get their heads out of their bums. Imagine being one of these unlucky parents:
“You’ve got parents that really rely on this,” said Wendee Robinson, a Head Start teacher in the Talladega, Ala., program whose own 2½ year old daughter attends the Early Head Start program that was also closed on Tuesday. She added that she worries both her daughter and other children will not get the high-quality education during the shutdown that the program is designed to deliver. “Children need this education, because they’re not going to get it at home.”
“It’s very detrimental if you’re a working parent and you don’t have anybody who can watch your child,” added Tim Center, director of the Capital Area Community Action Agency in Tallahassee, Fla., which operates a Head Start program that enrolls 378 children across three counties. His center closed on Tuesday. “Head Start is designed to get kids in poverty ready for kindergarten, while at the same time affording parents the opportunity to go to work, or get a college degree … so they can work their way out of poverty.”
“A federal lockout prevents that type of effort,” he added.
The programs that are already closed include:
- Talladega Clay Randolph Child Care Corporation, in AL (898 children)
- Action for Bridgeport Community Development, in CT (1019 children)
- Capital Area Community Action Agency, in FL (378 children)
- Five County Child Development Program, in MS (900 children)
Let’s hope this list doesn’t get any longer.