Head Start in Wareham to increase enrollment
Editor’s note: This article previously misstated the number of children who will be attending Head Start.
The Head Start program in Wareham will be more than doubling its enrollment later this fall thanks to a $1.18 million dollar grant from the Federal Administration for Children and Families.
The Wareham Head Start program, which is run by the South Shore Community Action Council, will be providing free preschool for a total of 71 children.
Head Start is based in the old Oak Grove School at 314 Onset Ave., which will also house the new classes.
Jack Cocio, the CEO of South Shore Community Action Council, said that the new classrooms are expected to open in mid to late November once hiring and orientations are complete. He expects to hire roughly 10 to 15 new staff members, depending on enrollment.
The grant will also fund home-based Early Head Start care for a total of six infants or toddlers, and support at home for two expectant mothers.
Head Start and Early Head Start programs aim to create a “caring early education environment that supports achievement, promotes a sense of self-worth, and encourages positive social interaction for children from low-income families.”
“We’re thrilled to receive this grant award to provide comprehensive Head Start and Early Head Start for disadvantaged children and families working hard to make ends meet. With this grant, children and families will receive the education and wrap-around support they need to face today’s many challenges and achieve their life’s fullest potential,” said Cocio. “As the pandemic has so clearly demonstrated, the availability of affordable child care directly impacts parents’ employment and the overall well-being of the entire family.”
Congressman Bill Keating also spoke in favor of the program.
“As a long-time supporter of Head Start, I realize the importance of giving children the opportunity to develop and flourish in the earliest stages of life,” said Congressman Bill Keating. “South Shore Community Action Council has a long history of providing high quality early education to the families of the South Shore through its Head Start and Early Head Start programs.”