WASHINGTON – Chautauqua Opportunities, Inc. will be getting a major boost in operation aid thanks to the federal government.
On Tuesday U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced $1.32 million in federal funding will be going to Chautauqua Opportunities, Inc. to support a new Early Head Start – Child Care Partnership program and expand the organization’s ability to provide education and development services for low-income children.
“We’re very pleased to be awarded this funding,” COI Executive Director Roberta Keller told WRFA Wednesday morning. “We’ve been hoping to initiate this kind of programming as early as the 1990s, so it’s long overdue.”
Head Start and Early Head Start provide comprehensive child development programs for low-income children from birth to age five and their families. Community organizations are awarded grants to provide Head Start services in their community through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The federal funding allows new or existing Early Head Start programs to partner with local child care centers and family child care providers serving infants and toddlers from low-income families.
Keller said it was a very competitive grant process, but because COI has been recognized at the national level as a Center for Excellence she was optimistic the organization would receive some of the grant allocations. Keller also said that the $1.3 million will help COI provide full daycare services to 80 children and their familes, from newborns to 3 years of age, for the next five years. She said the funding will be applied to four different locations:
- 24 children in Jamestown through the COI early head start program at Holy Family Church;
- 24 children in Westfield through the Westfield YWCA daycare program;
- 16 children in Dunkirk/Fredonia through COI’s Connections North program;
- 16 children in the Silver Creek/Irving area through the Lake Shore Family Center.
Schumer and Gillibrand said that by providing a full-day, full-year program these partnerships support working families and develop a healthy and educational early experiences for the children to completely understand their limitless potential.