Early childhood programs could be cut - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Early childhood programs could be cut

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More than 22,000 Missouri families benefit from the Head Start and Early Head Start program. More than 22,000 Missouri families benefit from the Head Start and Early Head Start program.
Teachers teach the children social skills and build a foundation in the process. Teachers teach the children social skills and build a foundation in the process.
With cuts looming, one program director says they're taking a wait and see approach. With cuts looming, one program director says they're taking a wait and see approach.
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NEW MADRID COUNTY, MO (KFVS) -

More than 22,000 Missouri families benefit from the Head Start and Early Head Start program. But, with cuts looming, one program director says they're taking a wait and see approach.

"By the time they leave here, they are well on their way to kindergarten and they've learned a lot," said Deann Kirk, a Head Start teacher in Chaffee.

Kirk works with 3 to 5 year olds. Over in the Early Head Start facility in New Madrid, it's infants to 2 year olds.

"Maybe they don't know how to share yet or the only way of getting attention is do something negative," said Peggy Southard, an Early Head Start teacher.

So teachers like Southard teach them social skills along with building a foundation in the process.

"We help them with all the skills and background they need to be ready for preschool, kindergarten, or whatever else it is," Southard said.

"Lives are changed and it's hard to put a measurement on that," said Cindy Huey, a Head Start director.

Director Cindy Huey says it gives children that need the attention a chance to be successful.

"90% of the families that are served by this federal money are at or bottom the poverty level," Huey said.

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