PRESS RELEASE: Head Start programs will stay at OLHSA

Pontiac, Mich., July 12, 2016 – OLHSA, a Community Action Agency, was recently awarded a grant totaling $10.8 million from the Department of Health & Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families, Office of Head Start to continue to run Early Head Start and Head Start programs in Oakland County. 

Through the grant 909 children will be served through the Head Start program for three and four year olds and 206 children will be enrolled in the Early Head Start program for pregnant women, newborns and children up to two years old. The grant project period is for 5 years starting July 1, 2016 and ending in June 30, 2021.

Federal guidelines called for OLHSA to re-compete for the grant in December 2015 in order to receive this new grant for 5 years.  This gave the program the opportunity to make several important changes to adapt to the needs of families today including changing to full day programming for all Head Start children and adding additional Early Head Start classrooms for children 0-3 years of age. 

Previously, Head Start offered primarily half-day classes. A shift in the grant and program structure now will allow OLHSA to provide full-day classes for all preschool children. Head Start is center-based, with OLHSA having 18 locations throughout Oakland County, and Early Head Start will offer full-day, center-based programs and home-based options. 

“We are honored to have the opportunity once again to educate and serve the children of Oakland County,” said Susan Harding, Early Childhood Services Director at OLHSA. “The new full-day sessions will allow us to cater to families even more, especially those who are working or have transportation challenges but more importantly it will provide more time with children to prepare them for school and life.”

In 2015, OLHSA Head Start celebrated 50 years of service in Oakland County and since its creation the program has served over 80,000 children. Head Start serves children of families who don’t have access to traditional preschool programs. The programs enhance the lives of at-risk children and their families by providing preschool education and comprehensive health, nutrition and family services that support the whole family. 

“Head Start programs are a crucial asset for Oakland County children and OLHSA is proud to have the opportunity to continue to provide a nurturing and educational environment for children in our communities and provide support to families in need,” said Ronald Borngesser, OLHSA CEO.

To learn more about OLHSA’s early childhood services, please visit www.olhsa.org/earlychildhoodprograms

OLHSA is a Community Action Agency improving the quality of life for people facing crisis while strengthening families, communities, seniors and youth since 1964. Over 197,000 services were provided in 2015 in the pursuit of helping people and changing lives.  www.olhsa.org

Media Contact: Ashley Yocum | 248.209.2623 office | 570.259.1394 cell | ashleyy@olhsa.org