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Feb. 2, 2011
Early Head Start provides child care and education for infants and toddlers in low-income families. It currently serves 1,250 children in 50 Kansas counties, but funding for the program was dropped from Gov. Sam Brownback's proposed FY 2012 budget.
Spokeswoman Sherriene Jones-Sontag said the governor has no plans to restore Early Head Start’s $11.3 million budget. However that's not what child advocates have understood from communication with the governor's office, said Shannon Cotsoradis, director of Kansas Action for Children.
"Every conversation we've had with the governor's team suggests that they are committed to preserving the Early Head Start program," she said. "Why would a governor who said very clearly 'Two of my five priorities are around literacy among young children and reducing childhood poverty' eliminate a program specifically designed for our youngest, poorest children — those at greatest risk of reading failure and at greatest risk of being the next generation of poor adults.
Listen to the full story from Kansas Public Radio: