Media Contact:
Jenna Lugonja
jennal@miamidade.gov
786-469-4741

Miami-Dade County expands Head Start services to over 800 more children without taking more money from general fund

MIAMI (October 01, 2015)

Miami-Dade County Community Action and Human Services Department (CAHSD) is thrilled to announce that an additional 836 children and their families are being served this year through the Head Start/Early Head Start (HS/EHS) program.

When HS/EHS became a fully-delegated program in 2012, CAHSD transitioned from being direct service providers to being responsible for administering and monitoring the annual $50+ million dollar federal grant that funds high quality early childhood education and supportive services for families residing in underserved communities.  CAHSD now oversees the performance of 17 delegate agencies, managing over 88 early learning classrooms with over 7,500 students throughout the County. 

Due to the shift in the role of CAHSD, great efficiencies were made, allowing for an additional 500 children to be served, at no cost to the County.  In the past year, these same efficiencies created 96 more slots for children, who are now enrolled at the brand-new, state-of-the-art Lillie M. Williams Head Start Center in Arcola Lakes.  Finally, through aggressive grant-seeking and creative program development, CAHSD was able to secure funds to expand its Early Head Start program to add 240 infants and toddlers.  

“Early childhood education is critical to future success,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “We are proud to be able to provide expanded services to families and children in need, without costing County residents more in taxes.”  CAHSD Director Lucia Davis-Raiford echoed the Mayor’s sentiment, stating, “The Head Start program demonstrates that through smart, early investment in a child’s education, we can improve the outcomes for our children and their families.”

Based on outstanding performance, the County’s HS/EHS program also earned the right to a non-competitive grant process, committing $288 million to the County over the next five years. “Head Start/Early Head Start has an extraordinary track record of success with infants, toddlers, pre-school children and their families,” said HS/EHS Director, Dr. Cathleen Armstead.  “We are looking forward to the upcoming program years as we continue to be innovative in our approach to support our youngest learners.”

For more information on HS/EHS, contact CAHSD at 786-469-4673.