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Dutch Ruppersberger

07/10/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/10/2020 15:39

Maryland Delegation Members Announce More Than $6 Million for Early Childhood Education in Baltimore Area

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin and Congressmen Dutch Ruppersberger, John P. Sarbanes, and Kweisi Mfume (all D-Md.) announced $6,008,317 in federal funding for Head Start and Early Head Start programs at the Y of Central Maryland.

'Early childhood education not only puts students on a successful path inside and outside of the classroom, but also helps close the academic achievement gaps - driven by racial and socioeconomic inequities - that have long plagued America's education system,' the lawmakers said. 'We will keep fighting for increased federal investment in high-quality early childhood education programs for all Marylanders.'

'The Y in Central Maryland is deeply proud to have the opportunity to continue our longstanding commitment to the early education of young children, particularly those from underserved communities in Baltimore, through the renewal of the Head Start grant. There is no question that quality early education unlocks doors of opportunity and is in fact life-changing for children whose families experience deep poverty, as is the case for the over 500 Baltimore children and families impacted by this grant. The Y stands with our elected leaders in Baltimore and throughout the state to applaud the awarding of this significant grant by the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. It will have a generational impact on hundreds of young lives,' said John K. Hoey, President and CEO of the Y in Central Maryland.

Funds were awarded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The lawmakers have supported increased funding for Head Start programs throughout Maryland. Head Start and Early Head Start programs provide services to more than a million children every year, in every U.S. state and territory, in farmworker camps, and in over 155 tribal communities. Head Start programming is responsive to the ethnic, cultural, and linguistic heritage of each child and family. More than 80 percent of children served by Head Start programs are 3- and 4-year-olds. Infants, toddlers, and pregnant women make up the remaining almost 20 percent of Head Start enrollment, and are served through Early Head Start programs. Early Head Start programs are available to the family until the child turns 3 years old and is ready to transition into Head Start or another pre-K program.