Rep. Kuster derides cuts that limit Head Start
Congresswoman Annie Kuster stops in at a Head Start classroom in Keene Tuesday to say hello to children in the federally funded pre-school program. (MEGHAN PIERCE PHOTO)
Because of the 20 percent cut in Head Start programing, Southwestern Community Services, which serves Cheshire and Sullivan counties, was forced to close a classroom in Keene and Newport, accepting 47 fewer children this year. The cuts meant laying off two teachers, two aides and a family advocate.
A panel made up of staff and Head Start parents made the decision to close the two Head Start classrooms.
Centers like Drewsville and Jaffrey have only one classroom, so closing either of those classrooms would have meant closing the center there.
“It’s not just the education of the child,” Weber said. “I say we enroll families, we don’t enroll a child. … As a team and a center we are there to make sure the family is succeeding on all levels, not just education of their child.”
“Some of our families come from families that are in disarray, but our Head Start family is their family so some of the only family strength that they have is when their child is at Head Start,” Weber said.
“I guess the saddest thing is 47 children aren’t going to get those day to day experiences and they are not going to become champions and learn all those things that these other children are getting to learn,” Paquette said.
“All of a sudden it means we have parents that are unable to go to work. It also goes beyond that, the people that we were paying to clean the classrooms and doing other things to support the program and all of a sudden they don’t have jobs,” Manning said.
“This is the most dysfunctional institution I have ever joined in my entire life,” she said.
Clinton has 'historic' lead in poll
Sources say former White House Chief of Staff Andy Card to be tapped as Franklin Pierce president
Randy Johnson, Pedro, Smoltz lead HOF ballot
Tough task for NH budget writers
Pipes and plans: A chance to show up Mass.
Teacher 'thrilled' at being reinstated
Paul, Christie share lead in primary poll
NH senators react to Hagel resignation