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District Awarded Grant to Provide Head Start/Early Head Start Services

Aiken County Public Schools will now provide all Head Start (HS) and Early Head Start (EHS) services offered in both Aiken and Barnwell counties, effective July 1, 2020.

Following the decision of the Office of Head Start through the Designation Renewal System (DRS), the school district will administer an annual Federal grant awarded through the Department of Health and Human Services of an estimated $3.4 million dollars. These funds will be utilized to support the health, nutritional, and social well-being of over 400 children, pregnant women and families in Aiken and Barnwell counties.

Aiken County Superintendent King Laurence said the school district is thrilled to have the opportunity to serve additional families in Aiken County as well as new families in Barnwell County.

“For thirty-five years the Aiken County Public School District has provided high-quality Pre-Kindergarten services,” commented Laurence. “We are now excited to add Early Head Start while continuing to serve the children and families of Head Start.”

Established in 1965, Head Start is a program of the United States Department of Health and Human Services that promotes school readiness for children in low-income families by offering comprehensive services to include educational, nutritional, health, social, parent involvement services, and other services. Since its inception, Head Start has served more than 36 million children, birth to age five, and their families.

In 2018, Head Start served nearly one million children and pregnant women in communities throughout the nation. Head Start programs promote school readiness of children ages birth to five from low-income families by supporting the development of the whole child.  Many Head Start and Early Head Start programs are based in childcare centers, schools and/or offered through a home-based visitation program. 

Children from birth to age five who are from families with incomes below the poverty guidelines are eligible for Head Start and Early Head Start services. Children from homeless families, families receiving certain public assistance, and foster children are eligible regardless of their foster family’s income. Early Head Start serves pregnant women and children from birth up to age three and services are provided in center-based or home-based settings. Head Start serves children three to five years of age and services are offered in center-based settings.

In partnership with Aiken County First Steps and Barnwell County First Steps, Head Start and Early Head Start services will be offered throughout Aiken and Barnwell Counties in locations including Aiken, Graniteville, Gloverville, Monetta, Wagener, Salley, Williston, Barnwell, and Blackville.

In the coming weeks, Aiken County Public Schools will notify families and the community regarding the next steps in the transition of Head Start and Early Head Start services in Aiken and Barnwell counties.

LINK TO DISTRICT PRESS RELEASE: 2020 PR HEADSTART GRANT

ACPSD Communications Department