Success Stories

Early Head Start

On Feb. 13, 2009, Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 at the urging of President Obama, who signed it into law four days later. A direct response to the economic crisis, the Recovery Act has three immediate goals:

  • Create new jobs and save existing ones
  • Spur economic activity and invest in long-term growth
  • Foster unprecedented levels of accountability and transparency in government spending

The Recovery Act intended to achieve those goals by providing $787 billion in:

  • Tax cuts and benefits for millions of working families and businesses
  • Funding for entitlement programs, such as unemployment benefits
  • Funding for federal contracts, grants and loans

In 2011, the original expenditure estimate of $787 billion was increased to $840 billion to be in line with the President's 2012 budget and with scoring changes made by the Congressional Budget Office since the enactment of the Recovery Act. 

In Michigan, $7.86 million ARRA dollars provided a boost to federal grants. For OLHSA, it meant initiating the Early Head Start program, among other boosts.

Early Head Start is a comprehensive, two-generation federal initiative aimed at enhancing the development of infants and toddlers while strengthening families. Many factors are built into the curriculum, and include but are not limited to: prevention and promotion activities, positive relationships and continuity, parent involvement, cultural competence and transition planning.

In Oxford, a teen mother named Brittney enrolled her daughter Mariah in OLHSA’s Early Head Start. After dropping out of high school to have her child, Brittney enrolled Mariah in Early Head Start when she was a year old. The decision allowed Britteny to finish high school, and then go on to college. Brittney recently has graduated with her Medical Assistant certification and was offered a position at the doctor's office where she interned. Britteny and Mariah are now living in their own apartment after moving out of Brittney’s parent’s house. Baby Mariah went on to attend OLHSA’s Oxford Head Start and is doing well.