Press Releases

Sen. Warner Announces More Than $5 Million for Early Head Start Programs

Funds will support child care and early education programs for local underserved children and families

Jul 29 2016

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) announced today that Total Action Against Poverty (TAP), a local non-profit community action agency, will receive $2,717,445 from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to support Early Head Start programs in the Roanoke Valley. Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS) will also receive $1,253,565 from HHS to support Early Head Start programs in Northern Virginia, and Southside Training Employment and Placement Services (STEPS), Inc., a local non-profit located in Farmville, will receive $2,656,935 to support Early Head Start programs in Southside Virginia.

TAP’s Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership (EHS-CCP) program provides comprehensive high-quality child care services to up to 148 income-eligible children, up to age three, in partnership with 11 community childcare centers in the Roanoke and New River Valleys, the Alleghany Highlands, and the Rockbridge area. The programs work to ensure that income-eligible children receive education and child care in partnership with existing child care providers, and families receive comprehensive family and health services. Through this grant, TAP and local community partners will provide ongoing intensive support to center directors and teachers in areas such as curriculum, assessment of children’s development, professional development, and recruitment of eligible children. Centers located in the following areas will receive funding through this grant: Alleghany County, Town of Blacksburg, City of Covington, Craig County, Giles County, City of Lexington, Town of Pulaski, City of Roanoke, and Roanoke County.

Similarly, NVFS Early Head Start programs provide high-quality educational services for up to 486 income-eligible children of up to three years of age. The federal funding will benefit four NVFS centers located in Woodbridge, Manassas, and Sterling, ensuring that student needs and quality standards are met. In addition to coordinated services, nutritious meals, and year-round care, under the NVFS model, families also benefit from weekly 90-minute, in-home education sessions and bimonthly play and socialization gatherings.

Finally, this new funding will support STEPS’ existing Head Start education program, and allow for the creation of an Early Head Start program for the first time in the region. Early Head Start programs provide high-quality educational services for income-eligible children of up to three years of age. STEPS will now be able to serve 233 Head Start children in Amelia, Appomattox, Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Lunenburg, Prince Edward, and Nottoway counties, and expand to serve 48 children through Early Head Start in Amelia, Charlotte, and Prince Edward counties. In addition, this grant will allow new services to be provided for 15 expectant mothers to facilitate prenatal and postpartum care, and to provide home visits and health and nutrition references, which will ensure their children are healthy and primed for success from an early age.

“This federal funding will help provide a foundation for young children to be better prepared for the challenges they will face in school and in life,” said Senator Warner. “We know early learning is one of the best predictors of educational outcomes, and these funds will play a key role in helping kids from disadvantaged backgrounds reach higher and close the achievement gap.”