Calais Pre-K Head Start Faces Cutbacks

By Lura Jackson

In March of 2013, a federal sequestration went into effect that began to enact a series of budget cuts for programs across America. One such program undergoing cutbacks is the Pre-K Head Start collaboration at Calais Elementary School, operated with the assistance of Child and Family Opportunities, Inc. The cutbacks will result in the closure of either the morning or afternoon classroom session.
Despite the partial loss of financial support, the program coordinators have been working hard to ensure minimal impact to children and families. “That was our top priority, to make sure kids could continue to come for free if they needed to,” says Marcia Rogers, center manager. “In our area, we need to even the playing field for everyone, to give kids the best start they can get.”
CFO operates a second classroom on the Washington County Community College campus, which will now serve at a greater capacity. “We will be able to accommodate many of the kids at our ECEC facility,” says CFO Executive Director Doug Orville. He adds that the $95,000 in losses this year and the $144,000 decrease anticipated next year have been planned for, and additional cutbacks aren’t expected.
Each family will be worked with individually depending on their accessibility options. One of the family advocate positions will be eliminated along with the corresponding class session, but those responsibilities will be absorbed by the teacher. “We will be able to serve the community still, but it will just look a little different,” Rogers says.