Massachusetts Head Start Association push for increased funding next year

Advocates hope to increase funding to $12 million for FY 2019

BOSTON (WWLP) – The Massachusetts Head Start Association is calling on lawmakers to increase funding for the program to $12 million in fiscal year 2019.

The money will help children from low-income families get early education and care before entering public school.

Local teachers concerned about the future of preschool programs

Head Start provides services for children and low-income families, including literacy classes, medical screenings, and social services. Janis Santos has worked for Head Start for 45 years, serving a majority of those as Executive Director of Hoyloke-Chicopee-Springfield Head Start.

Santos told 22News she’s seen tremendous change from the program, including, “a recognition from the community of the importance of the early years in children, preschool years; getting them ready for their first experience in school. We want them to succeed in school and in life.”

Santa surprises kids with presents at Head Start in Springfield

Governor Charlie Baker released his spending plan last month, but the budget still has a long way to go before funding can be allocated.