The Hidalgo County Head Start Program was recently granted $27 million. It’s purpose is to implement programs preparing children for the future. The county’s head start is a bilingual program that offers education to children of low-income families. They range in ages from 3-5 years old.
Program Director Teresa Flores says the multi-million grant from Congress will be used towards meals for children and child development programs.
“From that grant we get $3 million which compliments and supplements to make it a comprehensive program where the child is educated. The parents are educated, the parents are engaged, and of course the children are prepared for Kindergarten.”
“Some of these funds that are here for training and technical assistance go towards paying tuition and fees for staff that want to go to school and acquire a degree in early childhood education so that we can continue to have our classrooms with staff that are very competent.”
Teresa Flores says the program serves as more than just a preparation for pre-school
“We’re here from 7:45 in the morning to 5:15 in the afternoon which allows parents to also have day care part in the services that we provide if they work then children can stay with us that period of time.”
Teachers say although the program is great, there’s an area that needs improvement.
Cecilia Compean, “I would like to incorporate more exercise. We walk and exercise with them, but not like the exercises that we can do, like play basketball and soccer that would encourage them to stay active.”
Compean encourages parents to enroll their children in the program allowing them to interact with other kids instead of being home watching television.
Officials hope to add more transportation as they say there are more than 3,000 children enrolled but can ony transport 500.