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DHHS awards Flint $5.5M for early head start programs

Flint-area children will be getting a boost thanks to awards of $5.5 million toward Early Head Start programs. (Photo: MGN)

FLINT, Mich. - Flint-area children will be getting a boost thanks to awards of $5.5 million toward Early Head Start programs.

Announcement of the two separate awards from the Department of Health and Human Services was made in a joint statement from U.S. Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow, and Congressman Dan Kildee.

According to the statement, Genesee County will receive $2.3 million and the Genesee Intermediate School District to support expanded Early Head Start for children in the Flint area through their Early Head Start Child Care Partnership programs.

U.S. Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow, and Congressman Dan Kildee today announced that the DHHS awarded $2.3 million to Genesee County and $3.2 million to the Genesee Intermediate School District to support expanded Early Head Start for children in the Flint area through their Early Head Start Child Care Partnership programs.

Early Head Start Child Care Partnership programs offer developmental screenings and referrals to medical, dental, nutrition, vision and mental health services, and provide necessities including diapers and formula.

“The children of Flint have been particularly impacted by the water crisis given their vulnerability to the long-term damaging effects of lead exposure,” said Peters. “I’m pleased to help announce this funding that will expand access to critical medical, nutritional and educational support services for Flint infants and toddlers to ensure they receive the care and resources they need to live happy and healthy lives.”

Partnership sites receive additional resources to support training and professional development for staff, and improve facilities and upgrade supplies and equipment.

Last year, Peters, Stabenow and Kildee introduced legislation to expand Head Start and Early Head Start enrollment for Flint kids exposed to lead.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded a one-time, $3.6 million grant to expand Head Start and Early Head Start services for preschoolers affected by Flint's lead contaminated water supply in March of 2016.

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