HAMILTON – More children in Western Montana will get a spot in the Early Head Start Program thanks to some new funding.
The federal office of Head Start awarded the Ravalli Head Start program more than $750,000 a year for operations, start-up and remodeling costs.
The money will allow Ravalli Head Start to increase the number babies and toddlers they enroll at their centers in Missoula and Ravalli counties, growing to 48 from a current enrollment of 32. Ravalli Head Start will also be working on partnerships with local child care providers, enrolling 17 additional children through the partnership model. In total, the organization will more than double the number of children they are able to serve at centers.
Executive Director John Fliz says the money will help fill a pressing need in Ravalli and Missoula counties where the wait list for babies and toddlers to enroll in the program has reached 30.
A significant portion of the budget will be invested in working with child care partnership sites.
Ravalli Head Start is a federally funded program offering free services to low-income families. It’s headquartered in Hamilton, but also offers services to youngsters in Missoula.