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CREC and Partners Receive Award to Manage Federal Head Start Program

The Capitol Region Education Council (CREC), along with Catholic Charities, The Village for Families and Children, and Area Cooperative Educational Services (ACES), received a $9.1 million award to develop a partnership that will manage the regions’ federal Head Start and Early Head Start programs.

CREC will manage and lead the program, and also led the efforts to secure the award through their Grants and Development Office. The program will serve 426 children, birth through age five, in the Hartford/Middlesex Area.

“CREC is excited to have been selected to manage and operate Early Head Start and Head Start programs in the Hartford and Middlesex counties,” said CREC Executive Director Greg Florio. “With the help of our wonderful partners, Catholic Charities, the Village for Families & Children, and our sister regional education service center, ACES, we look forward to providing early childhood education and support services to children—birth to five—and pregnant women. We have planned significant wraparound services to help families give their little ones a great start in life.  And we have just the partners with whom to do this important work.” 

“This federal funding will help grow Head Start early education programs, helping hundreds of our youngest learners thrive during these critical early years. We know that kids who participate in Head Start are served by that experience for decades to come – helping them to succeed in school and into adulthood. We’re proud to advocate for increased funding for these programs so they can continue to support Connecticut families for years to come,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Sen. Chris Murphy, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, Rep. Jahana Hayes, and Rep. John Larson wrote in a jointly-issued statement from the Connecticut Congressional Delegation.

“We are thrilled to be able to continue to deliver the work to our Head Start and Early Head Start community members in Middlesex County and the ACES region,” said Executive Director Tom Danehy, of ACES, the regional education service center serving the New Haven region. “Providing equity for those in poverty and in need of educational supports helps to level the playing field regardless of one’s racial, ethnic or economic status so that all have access to education, a key to life-long upward mobility. Thanks to Becky Cuevas, our team at Middlesex County Early Head Start, and CREC, ACES is able to continue this work.”

“We are very excited about this partnership, which will help us to build on our continuum of services for families with young children, from prenatal care through age five and entrance into kindergarten,” said Marek Kukulka, CEO of Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Hartford. “We express appreciation to our friends at CREC and to all who support our work to provide help and create hope to people of all faiths and backgrounds.”

“This is a time of great stress and uncertainty for many families, and so this grant could not come at a better time,” said Galo Rodriguez, president and CEO of the Village for Families and Children. “The Village has a team of dedicated staff with the training and experience to make an immediate impact, and we are grateful for the opportunity to help. We will continue to build partnerships and innovative strategies to ensure all families and children get the support they need.”  

The funding for the award comes from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of Head Start.


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