3,200 Preschoolers No Longer Have A School Thanks To The Government Shutdown

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preschoolGet 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:

  1. Talladega Clay Randolph Child Care Corporation, in AL (898 children)
  2. Action for Bridgeport Community Development, in CT (1019 children)
  3. Capital Area Community Action Agency, in FL (378 children)
  4. Five County Child Development Program, in MS (900 children)

Let’s hope this list doesn’t get any longer.

(photo: pjovertherainbow)


  1. CMJ

    October 3, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    Sigh. This is how I feel about this –

    And it’s only going to get worse as the days go on.

    • elle

      October 3, 2013 at 6:03 pm

      I never said this on the other thread but I hope you have everything hu need while furloughed. If you need anything I know that I (and I’m sure many others) am happy to help in anyway possible!

    • CMJ

      October 3, 2013 at 6:13 pm

      Thanks! I am, luckily, probably okay for about a month….and I am super, super lucky. I definitely still had a panic attack this morning because I went to Target and not thinking spent more money than I should have before it dawned on me that I don’t know when I will get a paycheck.

      That being said – I fear more for the veterans who need their mental health services and kids who need to go to school and people who need to eat….just everyone. It’s the worst. No one in this Country should be held hostage because a bunch of adults didn’t get their way.

    • elle

      October 3, 2013 at 6:26 pm

      100 percent agreed. Never go to target when you shouldn’t be spending money ;). Yeah me and my husband went on a crazy pantry cleaning out to go to a food bank but I’m really not sure what to do for vets….maybe you have an idea? I mean maybe you don’t just cuz you work for the gov doesn’t mean you are like a gov all seeing eye…..but if you do let me know.

    • CMJ

      October 3, 2013 at 6:30 pm

      Vets are harder…many of them need mental health services (desperately) and housing (also desperately). Most of those employees that provide direct services and oversee the funding to the non-profits/states/etc are also furloughed. I would say for Vets – she what’s happening at the shelters or any of the state run mental health offices. There are also non-profits that work with them at well.

  2. Momma425

    October 3, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    Wow, I feel like an @$$.
    I was complaining just the other day about my daughter’s daycare center being closed on the 14th randomly for a “professional devolopment” day, and how inconvenient it is for me because I’m going to end up having to take the day off and watch her.
    I can’t imagine what a tough spot I would be in if her school was closed altogether. That is terrible!
    I hate how this shutdown is affecting innocent children. Adults can deal- but kids shouldn’t have their lives turned upside down because the GOP (who represent a minority 20% opinion) is stamping their feet until they get their way anyway. Ugh!

    • Emmali Lucia

      October 3, 2013 at 11:52 pm

      That lady who burst through the barricade today. I honestly think that she was going to try to take out the GOPs in congress… I mean, we’ll never know now. But let’s be honest and fuck the NSA, how many people do you reckon want to strangle all the idiots right now?

  3. Cee

    October 3, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    “Its okay! They don’t need their cheese, milk or school. Why is 50% of the country on these programs?! Are 50% of people reeaally needing these things?”

    Thanks Obama!

    • shel

      October 3, 2013 at 5:57 pm

      Yes, because no one required any sort of goverment assistance prior to Obama coming into office.

    • Cee

      October 3, 2013 at 5:59 pm

      I was being sarcastic and referencing another commenter/troll that was spewing some kind of nonsense the other day.

      “Thanks Obama” is a Fox News viewer’s “snarky” remark about anything.

    • CMJ

      October 3, 2013 at 6:17 pm

      my co-worker got a cold for his furlough.


    • NYBondLady

      October 3, 2013 at 10:59 pm

      What is a troll? Someone that doesn’t agree with you? Is that how you deal with other views-name calling?

    • Cee

      October 3, 2013 at 11:08 pm

      Hey now, I said commenter SLASH troll. Theres 50% chance youre one or the other.

    • NYBondLady

      October 3, 2013 at 11:00 pm

      Head start doesn’t work. It’s government funded daycare. Nothing more.

    • Cee

      October 3, 2013 at 11:05 pm

      I knew you’d show up! *handshake* And you didn’t disappoint!

    • CMJ

      October 3, 2013 at 11:39 pm

      Oh she’s back! With her non-sequiters and Faux News talking points.

    • Emmali Lucia

      October 3, 2013 at 11:49 pm

      Isn’t she great? Remember that one time during the summer when I chewed her out? Too bad she really didn’t listen to me for that long…

    • CMJ

      October 4, 2013 at 12:00 am

      It’s really strange when people show up and say things don’t work when people have absolutely no clue what they are talking about. Are there flaws in some of these programs? Of course! That doesn’t mean they aren’t lifesavers and lifelines for the people who are using them. Ugh, empathy. This lady needs to get some.

    • Cee

      October 4, 2013 at 12:21 am

      She’s like Beetlejuice. Just summon her and shes here. Doesn’t skip a beat with her BS. No “oh hai, were you referring to moi?” Its all “head start doesn’t work.” All business!

    • AugustW

      October 5, 2013 at 11:13 am

      I hate that argument, the reason Head Start doesn’t work past 3rd grade is because the kids who were getting top rate kindergarten skills are thrown back into shitty inner city schools.

      If you went on a diet and lost 50 lbs, then went back to your shitty eating habits and gained it back, would you blame the diet?

      (Responding to you because I don’t want to deal with the troll)

    • CMJ

      October 3, 2013 at 11:22 pm

      Actually, studies would prove otherwise.

    • NYBondLady

      October 3, 2013 at 11:27 pm

      That was a really shitty piece. No studies proved it, the article said itself “only time will tell”. Totally disregarded any correlating factors and/or causation. Admitted that quality education later helps. Well, duh.

    • CMJ

      October 3, 2013 at 11:31 pm

      There were studies linked in the article. And frankly, I would much rather read articles/opinions from a child public policy expert than you.

    • EX

      October 4, 2013 at 3:30 am

      Yes, and government funded day care is a terrible idea. I mean who wants disadvantaged mothers to have free child care so they can work and don’t have to rely on government handouts?

      Seriously? So, to summarize: women should not have access to affordable birth control through their employer provided insurance, women also shouldn’t have access to low cost BC through PP (because they provide abortions, dontcha know), women definitely shouldn’t have abortions, when they have their child they shouldn’t get any help feeding their children (even temporary assistance like WIC but god forbid food stamps) and if they want to work they shouldn’t get any assistance with child care. Lastly, the solution to all this is that they should get married because that is the fastest way out of poverty. Forget that maybe they got raped or the baby daddy took off or is a junkie.

      Here’s what I think, your stance on these issues may make sense to you on a macro level, but I seriously wonder if you have ever actually met someone who relies on any of these programs. If you had, I think it would be a lot harder to be quite so callous about these issues.

    • NYBondLady

      October 4, 2013 at 8:56 am

      “I mean who wants disadvantaged mothers to have free child care so they can work and don’t have to rely on government handouts?” LOLOLOL.
      Let’s have the government give women a totally expensive benefit so they don’t have to rely on other really expensive government benefits!

    • EX

      October 4, 2013 at 9:20 am

      I like how you ignored the rest of my comment.

      I actually think Head Start is a lot more than government funded daycare, but I wasn’t going to get into that since others here already have. I was simply responding to the implication that funding childcare for the working poor would be a bad thing. I strongly disagree. You seem to forget that when people work they are contributing to our society as opposed to just being supported by it.

      You know, believe it or not, you and I actually agree on one thing – more needs to be done to stop the cycle of intergenerational poverty. I just don’t think we’ll ever see eye to eye on how to do that.

    • NYBondLady

      October 4, 2013 at 9:32 am

      I didn’t respond to the rest of your comment because it’s full of assumptions that you make about me based on some of my views. You also mince my words, for example, you say that women should not have access to affordable BC through insurance. My stance is more “insurance companies should not be mandated to provide any benefit they do not want to.” If enough women choose not to use that insurance and seek out plans that have what they want, it will go out of business. Free markets.
      Also, I am not going to pander to the minute number of cases that invlove rape. That’s ridiculous. We are talking about society as a whole.

    • AugustW

      October 5, 2013 at 11:10 am

      Feel free to tell my speech delayed child that. Her pediatrician refused to acknowledge an issue with her, but thanks to HS health screenings we discovered she was functionally deaf.mwe were able to get her the help she needed thanks to Head Start.

  4. sallyedelstein

    October 3, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    Like any spoiled child, Republicans need a time out. What would child care experts say on the matter

  5. Ptownsteveschick

    October 3, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    What this is saying to me is what I have known for years, sadly kids are not a priority in this government. Scary and sad. But you know, these parents who are poor enough to have kids in Head Start are also the ones on WIC, so they are obviously just mooching the system and can’t possibly need child care to get to work #sarcasm

  6. EX

    October 3, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    It’s simply awful what they are doing to our most vulnerable citizens. Am currently binge watching this week’s Daily Show and Colbert Report episodes as that is the only way I can deal with all of this without having a rage stroke.

    Oh, and also, write/call your congressmen/women. I did that today, for what it’s worth.

  7. Byron

    October 3, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    Why have a child when you have to work to not be in poverty and have nobody to watch the child while you work? Why not wait to exit poverty and THEN have the child?

    I truly don’t understand the mentality of a parent who would be fine with bringing a child into the world knowing they would have to rely on strangers rearing the child for them. Having a trusted babysitter is one thing but a state-funded daycare sounds just like the building blocks for sub-par everything.

    • Olivia

      October 3, 2013 at 10:32 pm

      Obvious troll is obvious.

    • keelhaulrose

      October 3, 2013 at 11:07 pm

      And if responsibility was the way of the world banks wouldn’t have needed a damn bailout, and companies that make defective products would have to pay equal to the losses of those games by those products. Too bad that doesn’t work in this country.
      I won’t touch the circumstances change argument… Oh, wait. I will. Because they do, especially in this economy. Don’t believe me? Ask Peoria, or what’s left of it after Cat took most of their production overseas. That is a bipartisan issue, but millions of Americans, many who already had kids, have found themselves in financial trouble since the economy tanked thanks to two wars on credit cards and banks doing whatever the fuck they wanted (thanks, responsibility!).
      It is a biological drive to have sex. Pregnancy is preventable, but unfortunately those who need protection the most often have the least access, and even if they do have access a lot of them don’t know how to properly use it because their sex ed had been “keep it in your pants, sinner!” Here comes the ACA which might mean a poor woman can visit the doctor in town instead of trying to go to the clinic two hours away, but the supposed “party of personal responsibility” doesn’t want that, and doesn’t want her to end the pregnancy she can’t afford.
      Don’t want poor babies? Give the poor kids we already have a bloody hand up so they can get a good education, afford to go to college, and get a decent job instead of taking the few small helps they have in life from them and dooming them to the streets or a shitty, minimum wage job.

    • NYBondLady

      October 3, 2013 at 11:20 pm

      Lets go line by line- government granted a bailout. Several times. The banks were free to fail. Some did.
      Games? I don’t understand. But ever hear of “recalls” or “lawsuits”? Every asbestos company went bankrupt paying out insurance claims.

      How are the wars to blame for Americans financial troubles? Did we take money away from people to pay for them? You did say they were paid for using credit cards…and the banks? Again, probably the only way you were directly hurt was in your stock holdings or if you got a bad home based on the false info you provided loan (btw- investment banks didn’t make these loans, only traded them). Yes, many jobs were lost when people scaled back. Consumers still haven’t shown up.

      Unwanted Pregnancy wasn’t really an issue until the last 50 years. If you know how to use a smart phone you can figure it out. And the ACA wasn’t designed for poor people. They probably have qualified for Medicaid already.

      We have program after program designed to help the poor. Someone please tell me one that has worked.

    • CMJ

      October 3, 2013 at 11:24 pm

      ACA was actually designed to help the working poor. A vastly underserved group.

    • NYBondLady

      October 3, 2013 at 11:28 pm

      Now they are all qualifying for Medicare. Not paying a thing.

    • CMJ

      October 3, 2013 at 11:36 pm

      Do you mean Medicaid or Medicare?

      Even so, it’s actually not that easy to qualify for Medicaid.

    • Haradanohime

      October 3, 2013 at 11:51 pm

      In most states the only way to qualify for Medicaid is to be pregnant, disabled, a child, or elderly, AND living on next to nothing for income. Even some of those might get turned away for making a penny over the limit.

    • Kelby Johnson

      October 4, 2013 at 4:19 am

      As someone who has medicaid, people like you disgust me. I get food stamps, my family is on medicaid. I am poor at the moment. It wasn’t always that way, but when I fell on hard times, these programs were there to help me. When my kids were born, my husband and I both had decent jobs and we could afford things. Then, I lost my job. Then he lost his job. Then we had to move 300 miles away from our home and move in with my in laws. He is currently working a 40 hour a week job, I’m currently looking for work and going to school. He recently got a raise. We are now about 50 bucks over the limit for medicaid. October is my last month of health insurance, but I guess since I don’t make 100k a year, I don’t deserve health insurance for my family. Since hard times fell on us (which happens to MANY people on government assitance) we don’t deserve to keep the nice things we had before that happened.

      I’m not proud of my financial status. I don’t enjoy living with my in laws. I would LOVE to pay for my own health insurance, food, etc. The looks I get at the grocery store are enough to make me want to never go grocery shopping again. It takes me twice as long to find a doctor, a dentist, an eye doctor and as soon as they see my insurance, I get the look. I didn’t ask for this. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

    • AugustW

      October 5, 2013 at 11:18 am

      Everyone is one bad car accident away from your situation. I wish you the best of luck.

    • keelhaulrose

      October 3, 2013 at 11:52 pm

      I’ll answer you line by line:
      Banks were free to fail. Good thing they took people’s money with them.
      Recalls and lawsuits, yes, because taking a defective product off the market is great after it’s already done harm, and lawsuits always net enough to cover things like medical expenses and have never left anyone screwed. (BTW, can I live where you live, because it sounds awesome that people who are harmed by a product get 100% of their losses back)
      Yes, I lost my house to predatory lending practices. I got screwed by a bank who changed legal counsel in the middle of our deed-in-lieu negotiations, after we sent in the paperwork, ignored our inquires as to how things were progressing, and finally got back to us with a “we’re foreclosing and there’s jack you can do about it”. When we bought the house we had two good jobs in a decent area, and the house was only $63K, well within our means ($450 a month in mortgage payments was less than rent). Then Cat laid off most of their workers, which meant less people needed daycare, and my husband and I both lost our jobs. How much help do you get in that situation? At the time, none. By the time the government responded it was too late for us. We had to leave the area to find employment.
      How the hell were we supposed to pay for Afganistan and Iraq? No one questioned when we went from a surplus to a deficit, and it just got worse, and by the time anyone started questioning anything we were teetering on the brink of recession.
      Consumers haven’t shown up? Of course, they haven’t! They haven’t had any money to spend! And yet we’re throwing cash at big companies like it’s going out of style. Politicians preached the wonders of trickle-down economics, and the only thing that policy has done has deepened the pockets of fat cats and made those of us at the bottom wonder how we’re going to keep gas in the car.
      Unwanted pregnancy wasn’t a problem until the last 50 years? Where the hell do you live, Pleasantville? People have had unintended pregnancies for centuries. Just because we don’t send unwed mothers to ‘live with their aunt’ anymore doesn’t mean it didn’t freaking happen.
      ACA was to help those people who are too rich for Medicaid, but too poor to afford healthcare otherwise. A lot of people are in that situation. Or can’t get healthcare because of pre-existing conditions. Surprise, surprise, if you have enough money this isn’t a damn problem to start with, but when it costs 800 bucks a month for premiums and you’re only making $15 an hour you can’t afford health care, but there’s a good chance you’re making too much for medicaid.
      Have you ever had to use a program designed to help the poor? You may not think they work, but as someone who was able to feed her baby because of WIC, or see a doctor because of Medicaid, that’s a matter of perspective.

    • NYBondLady

      October 4, 2013 at 8:52 am

      PLEASE tell me how the banks took people’s money. This is fascinating! Are they sitting on a beach somewhere? Did they buy lots of nice cars?

      “Yes, I lost my house to predatory lending practices.”
      Nope. Non-sequitor. You didn’t make payments. You don’t lose a house by getting a loan. You buy a house with a loan. You get foreclosed on by not making payments. See how it works? Guess not, should have read the loan terms.
      And one of the tenants of ACA is that Medicaid by the states will be expanded, to include more people. Check out the WSJ for stories about people who went to go sign up for the program this week and found out they are now eligible!

    • keelhaulrose

      October 4, 2013 at 9:47 am

      A friend’s bank closed overnight. They, and several other people, got about 75% of what they had in there after a few weeks of trying to figure out what happened. 25% was just gone.
      Yes, it was a predatory lending practice. In any other economy my husband and I would have not qualified for a home loan. I had no credit, he only had student loans. We had only been working at our places of employment 6 months (him) and 3 months (me) respectively. We hadn’t been living in the area more than 6 months. We had about 1% for a down payment. We had been living in an apartment that was condemned overnight (thanks to carbon monoxide leaks and black mold in the walls) and was approached by a bank representative from a nationally-recognized bank on move-out day (we were given 24 hours, so it’s not like we had weeks to think about things, we were desperate because we had a large dog no one wanted at their apartment complex). We thought it would be okay because the bank was national, not a fly-by-night thing. We were making payments, and were told by the lawyers we were working with once we turned in our paperwork we could reduce payments, and those payments lost us our house. We tried to sell the thing, no one was buying.
      And isn’t it great that there’s not a single state that has rejected the medicaid expansion. Oh, wait. There’s Alaska, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Maine, and Wisconsin. Not to mention an additional seven states leaning towards not participating.

    • NYBondLady

      October 4, 2013 at 9:59 am

      25% gone? Not buying it. FDIC insures deposits to 250k. If they had more than 250k, it should have been spread out over more than one account.
      Did you ever consider that you were not ready to buy a home? Most people save for YEARS. not months.
      States are forced to expand the program but simply do not have the money to pay for Medicaid- they do not have the power to print money. What are they supposed to do, then?

    • keelhaulrose

      October 4, 2013 at 10:21 am

      It was over $250,000. From an inheritance. They were planning on buying a house, which would have put them under $250K . They got $250K back, but not all of it. And it took time to get it back.
      We didn’t have time to think. We had four hours to be out of the apartment and no where to live. No one had room for us in the area, the closest room we could get with a friend was two hours away. We didn’t have much for a hotel, with this bankers “help” we found a house which was already empty, and bought it within two weeks. All while our savings was draining away from the hotel, the kennel that had our pets, and the storage unit with our stuff. Maybe you have money to not make quick decisions in that situation, but we didn’t. And when you’re young and naive does it really sound horrible to have your monthly payments go from $650 a month to $450? We had good jobs. Cat was promising to keep production in America, and child care is always in demand. We loved the area. We hadn’t planned on moving away. The banker convinced us out was a solid investment, and it sounded sound to us and the family members we consulted.
      Rejecting the Medicaid expansion costs states money, too. And Texas keeps touting what good financial shape they’re in. So why are they rejecting it?

    • CMJ

      October 4, 2013 at 10:46 am

      Ugh, predatory lending. This is a CLEAR example of it and I am so angry. Do you have adequate housing now? (Housing is my gig so let me know if you need anything)

    • keelhaulrose

      October 4, 2013 at 10:53 am

      Yes, we have a good place. My father lost his job, and my parents have a large house, so we moved in with them to share expenses and it worked out well for all of us involved.
      Thanks for the offer, though! That’s what I love about this site. People understand hard times and offer to help.

    • CMJ

      October 3, 2013 at 11:18 pm

      Didn’t you comment in another post that women shouldn’t be able to get no cost birth control through their insurance?

      You, my friend, are the worst.

    • Emmali Lucia

      October 3, 2013 at 11:39 pm

      I have to wonder,

    • Kelby Johnson

      October 4, 2013 at 3:51 am

      Because bad things never happen after a child is conceived or born right? Once you have a baby, you never lose your job or get sick or anything like that.
      If it was just so easy as to “Exit” poverty…

    • EX

      October 4, 2013 at 5:59 am

      1. Circumstances can change
      2. People don’t always plan to get pregnant
      3. Unless you are suggesting that only the privileged should be allowed to have sex, this argument makes no sense. In if that is what you’re suggesting you don’t live in the real world.

    • meteor_echo

      October 4, 2013 at 7:39 am

      You and NYBondLady should get married, have 12 kids, buy a house with a white picket fence somewhere in the Midwest ‘burbs, get guns and an SUV. It’d be a dream life for the two of you.

    • NYBondLady

      October 4, 2013 at 8:59 am

      And the building blocks for a block-vote, if you know what I mean. AGain, I’m still waiting for someone to tell me about a government program that has done what it’s supposed to do. Radio silence so far.

    • CMJ

      October 4, 2013 at 10:36 am

      I know plenty – Neighborhood Stabilization Program, CDBG, HOME, many homeless programs, the Veterans programs (including VASH)…there are many others but I do know that you will most like point out something about how they didn’t work or do what they were supposed to do. They aren’t perfect but the overwhelming majority of people served through these programs that have affordable housing, shelter at night, and other services (counseling, education, homeownership assistance, etc) would tell you a different story.

      There are plenty of people on these comment threads telling you about being helped by these programs. They are not the problem. YOU are the problem. It is not my fault or anyone else’s on this thread that you don’t think they work. They do work – you just refuse to believe it based on your own myopic view. No one here said they were perfect (this is coming from someone who makes sure Federal Funds are spent properly) but they DO work and serve people in need every second of every day, even if you can’t see it.

    • AugustW

      October 5, 2013 at 11:21 am

      I was on every damn service after I had my daughter. Including the one that sent me to a temp service, helped me write a resume, and got me free interview clothes. I ended up getting a job AT HEAD START.

      So all those programs worked fabulously. I’m off every social program.

    • Tsitika

      October 5, 2013 at 3:14 pm

      Maybe there’s radio silence because the shutdown closed all the radio observatories.

      There’s been lots of great answers to your question concerning assistance for the underprivileged, but I’m going to go broader and add NASA. NASA put a man on the moon and rovers on Mars, wasn’t that what they were supposed to do?
      Oh or are we only talking about government programs you don’t like?

  8. Rachel Sea

    October 4, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    Head Start also feeds and diapers the kids in their care at no cost to the parents. So at the same time as people now have to stay home and lose income to take care of their kids, they also have to spend more to care for them.

    I’m an atheist, but I choose to believe in the special hell for the thugs making life impossible for the most vulnerable.

    • AugustW

      October 5, 2013 at 11:15 am

      Not having to pay for lunch and two diapers a day can make a gigantic difference. I speak from experience.

      I will say though, the “free” HS everyone talks about, is only 3 hours long. The all day ones cost about $350 a month and are generally only for community college or ESL students.

    • Rachel Sea

      October 8, 2013 at 12:50 pm

      Depends on your region. My county has free full-day classes.

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