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Government and Politics

Govt shutdown could affect Ohio Head Start programs
Lingering federal shutdown could start to affect Head Start in Ohio soon

Jo Ingles
Ohio Head Start Association, Inc.
Courtesy of Ohio Head Start Association, Inc.
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In The Region:

So far, no Head Start programs in Ohio have been affected by the federal government shutdown.

But Barbara Haxton with the Ohio Head Start Association says if there’s no resolution, 11 Head Start facilities across the state will shut down, stranding 2,000 kids and more than a thousand staffers.

Hear Haxton on November shutdowns for Head Start

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“If those agencies close, families will be looking for additional care for their children during the day, staff would be laid off, hopefully collecting unemployment for the duration, and programs will be shut down,” Haxton said. “That’s really a bad scene.”

And Haxton says the impact could be felt for months and even years, because kids could lose the progress they’ve made and those facilities could lose contact with their families tha have to go into other day care arrangements.
She says there would be a lot of work to do to help those kids catch up once the shutdown is resolved.

Hear Haxton on long-term impact for Head Start kids

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“There would be make-up work to happen,” Haxton said. “We’d probably also lose some children because the parents have to find some other care for their child they may not want to move them again. So it’s a lost for everybody. The entire situation is a very negative experience.”

Haxton says around a thousand Head Start staffers would also be furloughed in November if the shutdown drags on.

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