Fresno, Tulare Counties get Head Start on edu. funding

(Rigo Moran)

Thousands of young students from underserved families in Fresno, Tulare counties stand to benefit from the federal funding for Head Start and Early Head Start programs

WASHINGTON D.C. – In a major win for early childhood education, Rep. Jim Costa (CA-21) announced that Fresno and Tulare counties will receive a combined $45 million in federal funding to support Head Start and Early Head Start programs.

The investment will benefit thousands of young children from underserved families in the two-county region, helping to level the playing field and empower them to thrive in school.

“Investing in Head Start is an investment in our children’s future – because when our children succeed, America succeeds,” said Costa.

According to Costa, the funding will be awarded to the Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission (EOC) in Fresno County ($23.2 million) and the Tulare County Office of Education ($22.8 million). The programs promote school readiness for children from birth to age five by enhancing their cognitive, social and emotional development.

In a significant boost to Head Start programs nationwide, Costa helped secure a $1 billion increase in federal funding as part of the Fiscal Year 2024 budget. Additionally, $275 million was allocated for a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), which amounts to a COLA of nearly 2.3% for Head Start staff.

The announcement is welcome news for families and educators in Fresno and Tulare counties, where the funding will have a direct impact on early childhood education and development.

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