RI Delegation Announces Over $2 Million in Early Head Start Funding

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and U.S. Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline today announced a $2,031,812 grant to provide Rhode Island child development and family support services to low-income infants, toddlers, pregnant women and their families. The grant will be administered by Children’s Friend, a child-serving nonprofit agency with sites in Providence, Pawtucket, and Central Falls. Children’s Friend’s Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership is open to families statewide who meet income guidelines and other eligibility criteria.

“This is an important investment in helping kids from all backgrounds get a high-quality start to education from the very beginning,” said Senator Reed, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee who helped boost Head Start funding by $250 million in the 2019 Appropriations law.  “Early childhood educators are vital to the success of students and these funds will help ensure child care workers are well-trained and compensated for providing outstanding care to our children.  Investing in high-quality early learning and child care programs helps families and the broader economy.  It prepares students to succeed in school, helps give working parents better job stability, and contributes to overall economic security and educational opportunities.”

"Early Head Start can have a significant and lasting impact on the children enrolled," said Senator Whitehouse. "This federal funding will allow Children’s Friend to get more kids into a high-quality Early Head Start program, setting them up for success in school and beyond.'

“This influx of Early Head Start funding will make an immediate impact on the lives of families in Rhode Island,” said Congressman Langevin. “Every child deserves the chance to reach their full potential, and Early Head Start has a long track-record of facilitating successful child development for infants and toddlers in need. I’m proud to be part of a federal delegation committed to supporting this critical program.”

“There is nothing more important than ensuring that Rhode Island’s next generation has every opportunity to get ahead,” said Congressman Cicilline. “This federal investment will help Children’s Friend continue their work to make Rhode Island a better place to live, work, and raise a family. I’m proud to work with our delegation in Washington to provide robust funding for programs like these so critical federal resources can continue to be put to use right here in Rhode Island.”

“This federal funding in support of Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships is helping to increase access to and the quality of infant and toddler care for vulnerable young children in Rhode Island,” said David Caprio, President and Chief Executive Officer of Children’s Friend. “The efforts of our federal delegation in Congress to secure resources for infants and toddlers is a great complement to the recent State efforts aimed at increasing access to and quality for Pre-K age children. Thanks to the support of our federal delegation, we are working with partners across Rhode Island to give all of our children the best chance for success in life.”

Early Head Start programs are federally funded within the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and are designed to serve infants and toddlers under the age of three and pregnant women. While the services provided are similar to those offered by Head Start they are specifically tailored to the needs of younger children. Early Head Start programs promote the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development of infants and toddlers through caregiving and help their parents succeed.