110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
By Jen Horton
posted Oct 7, 2013 - 10:14:42am
There are 625 children, ages 3 and 4, who attend school in the Volusia County Head Start program. As of today, Oct. 7, their school is will close because of the federal-government shutdown. No one knows how long the closure will last.
Assistant Director Amy Thomas said Volusia is, by far, the largest of the three counties served by her branch of Head Start, a federally funded program designed to equip young children with the skills they will need to succeed in kindergarten.
A total of 924 children in Volusia, Hernando and Sumter counties are enrolled in Head Start. DeLand has the largest waiting list of any of the facilities in those three counties.
About 75 families are waiting to get their children into the DeLand Head Start program. There are also campuses in Orange City and DeLeon Springs, and some families elect to take their children there, hoping for a transfer.
Head Start is not child care. It's a little help for families who are down.
"These families have to be at or below the poverty level," Thomas said. "They are the poorest of the poor."
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