Head Start seeking competitive grant to continue funding

Head Start seeking competitive grant to continue funding
Head Start in Houston County is vying for a competitive grant to continue funding for the schools. (Source: Randi Hildreth)

DOTHAN, Ala. (WSFA) - Head Start in Houston County is vying for a competitive grant to continue funding for the schools.

Head Start for Dothan City Schools and Houston County is funded for the 2019 - 2020 school year, but beyond that there is uncertainty. The early childhood program is in the process of reapplying for a federal grant to continue funding for the next five years. The difference in the process this year is that the grant application pool is open to all agencies in need.

“I don’t know how many submit, but they only select one grant recipient,” said Yolanda Vincent, Head Start Director.

The stakes are higher because it’s open to agencies in need across the nation. Vincent is hoping they will beat out the other agencies applying for the competitive grant and get the over 2 million needed to keep doors open for the over 300 children they serve.

Although the competition is stiff, Vincent says Head Start doesn’t have any current safety violations or financial issues which works in their favor. If they don’t get funding, obviously they’ll have to explore other options.

“If we don’t get it we’ll have to got to the drawing board. We’ll have to see what will happen but we’re not going to talk about not getting the grant. We are hopeful. We’ve done the work. We have done the work for the last 40 years,” said Vincent.

The grant is due in November and they expect to find out no later than September 2020. The Head Start Program has hired a consultant to help in the grant writing process.

Head Start is funded through a federal grant through Health and Human Services

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