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State To Help Fund Bridgeport Head Start

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File photo of artwork by young children.  Photo by WTIC's Matt Dwyer.

File photo of artwork by young children. Photo by WTIC’s Matt Dwyer.

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BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) — Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Wednesday that the state will provide $800,000 to help keep the Head Start program in Bridgeport open over the coming weeks as the federal government shutdown drags on.

Malloy, a Democrat, appeared at the Head Start center, run by Action for Bridgeport Community Development. The program serves 1,245 children in the Bridgeport area. The center stopped receiving federal funding following the Oct. 1 start of the partial government shutdown.

Head Start is a federally funded program for income-eligible children up to 5 years old and their families. Services include school readiness and medical, dental, nutritional and social services programs.

“These services are vital for the success of many children in low-income families,” Malloy said, “and the sad reality is that they are the only ones paying the political price for political games being played in Washington. It’s unacceptable.”

Last week, Connecticut funded limited services for 494 children in Bridgeport. Malloy said the program will return to normal capacity for the rest of October.

There are 18 Head Start programs in Connecticut, serving about 6,600 children. The programs are funded on a staggered basis, and the Bridgeport program is the only one on an October budget cycle.

Connecticut Head Start Association chairman David Morgan said last week that three Head Start programs are scheduled to receive their federal funding in November. They could also face closure if Congress fails to adopt a budget.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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