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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 20, 2015

Heartland Head Start gets federal grant renewed and expands services to pregnant women and children ages birth to 3.

Bloomington, IL. Heartland Head Start, a social service agency founded in 1965, recently renewed its federal grant after a long and competitive process. In addition, its services to local communities will be expanding.

Heartland Head Start has a well-established reputation for enhancing the lives of children and families through its comprehensive child and family development program, which serves 3-5 year old children and their families in McLean and Livingston Counties who meet the federal guidelines. Beginning July 1, its services expanded to include pregnant women and children up to age 3, known as Early Head Start. Although this federal program is 20 years old, the funding was awarded to Heartland Head Start due to their community assessment of needs and their ability to provide services.

Head Start and Early Head Start programs support the mental, social, and emotional development of children from birth to age 5. In addition to education services, programs provide children and their families with health, nutrition, social, and other services. Head Start services are responsive to each child and family's ethnic, cultural, and linguistic heritage.

Head Start encourages the role of parents as their children's first and most important teachers. Programs build relationships with families that support positive parent-child relationships, family well-being, and connections to peers and community. Head Start also relies on its long-standing community relationships to provide services.

Early Head Start serves pregnant women, infants, and toddlers. Early Head Start programs are available to the family until the child turns 3 years old and is ready to transition into Head Start. Early Head Start helps families care for their infants and toddlers through early, continuous, intensive, and comprehensive services.

With its renewed funding, Heartland Head Start will now serve 221 Head Start children, 88 Early Head Start children (center and home-based), along with their families and pregnant women. For more information on services and eligibility requirements, please visit www.hearltandheadstart.org or phone 309-662-4880 to work with an enrollment specialist.

Heartland Head Start gets federal funding along with local support including funding from United Way of McLean and Livingston Counties. Contact Karen Bruning, Executive Director for more information

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