Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency Youth and Family Services Division has been awarded a total of $36 million in federal funding by the Office of Head Start to provide high quality, comprehensive services to children up to age 5 and their families over the next five years.
The new grant includes Early Head Start for pregnant women, infants and toddlers up to 3 years old and expands existing services to preschoolers. Wayne Metro’s Early Learning Centers will serve income-eligible children in the communities of Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, Hamtramck, Harper Woods, Highland Park, Redford and the Grosse Pointes.
Studies have shown that pre-K programs help generate billions of dollars in economic and other benefits including improved academic achievement and emotional health, increases in high school and college graduation rates, increases in income and homeownership, as well as decreases in crime. Early education also reduces dependencies on social services.
Wayne Metro has been delivering Head Start Services for more than 15 years and with this recent award is now the largest provider of Head Start/Early Head Start services in out Wayne County. The new funding allows Wayne Metro to continue preschool services for children ages 3 to 5 and to implement a long-needed expansion to include those ages 0 to 3 (early head start). Full day, school year options also have been funded to better meet the needs of families who are working and/or pursuing educational goals.
“We could not be more pleased for the opportunity to serve young children and their families,” Wayne Metro CEO Louis Piszker said. “What we put forth in our application is a best-in-class model for preschool and early childhood services. The award will allow us to enhance classrooms and facilities, make significant technology upgrades, while providing training and professional development for staff to ensure that by age five our children are thriving, ready to start kindergarten, and on a path to success.”
Wayne Metro is currently enrolling students and families for the 2016-2017 school year and actively recruiting early childhood teachers and program staff. To learn more, visit waynemetro.org.