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Head Start grants to Chicago organizations plummet after application change

CHICAGO (WLS) – Leaders of several organizations that provide early childhood education to Chicago children are scrambling to help their families, as they say changes to the Heads Up app have led to to their funding being reduced or eliminated altogether.

Eridany Ortega and her husband were just walking on their feet. They were out of work during the pandemic, and now she may need to give up her part-time job because their son’s Head Start program at the YMCA runs out of money at the end of the month.

“This was too sudden, to be given two weeks’ notice just for me,” she said. “What will I tell my son?”

The YMCA is one of the organizations affected by the application changes.

“Our families deserve continued service, they deserve to be chosen,” said Dorothy Cole-Gary, executive director of Early Education and Child Care at Metropolitan Chicago’s YMCA. “Parents also deserve time.”

“In the immediate future, we are asking the City of Chicago and the Head Start office to work together to keep children off the streets for the next two weeks,” said Nakisha Hobbs, CEO of It Takes A Village.

On Monday, the city announced that it, along with five other Chicago agencies, had been selected as recipients of Head Start funding. Among them is the Chicago Commons, which has provided Head Start for 20 years.

“I believe that new grantees, including the city of Chicago, have a responsibility to work together to figure out what makes the most sense and how we can reduce it,” said Edgar Ramirez, president. transition burden on Chicago families”. and Chief Executive Officer of the Chicago Commons.

Currently, agencies are trying to help affected families transition to new programs or are looking for funding alternatives.

ABC7 contacted the City of Chicago and the US Department of Health and Human Services, of which Head Start is a division, but received no response from either side ahead of time.

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https://abc7chicago.com/chicago-head-start-program-near-me-ymca/10898428/ | Head Start grants to Chicago organizations plummet after application change

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