Early Head Start program to start in DickinsonThe United States Government is dolling out about $1 million for an Early Head Start program in Dickinson in an effort to benefit about 72 infants, toddlers and pregnant women and employ between 26 and 30 staff, it announced Monday.
By: Beth Wischmeyer, The Dickinson Press
The United States Government is dolling out about $1 million for an Early Head Start program in Dickinson in an effort to benefit about 72 infants, toddlers and pregnant women and employ between 26 and 30 staff, it announced Monday
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded $977,697 to Community Action Partnership to start the program, said Sharon Hansen, director of Community Action’s Early Childhood Center in Dickinson.
“It’s a federal grant, that’s coming into our state,” Hansen said. Once fully developed, Hansen said the child development program will serve Adams, Billings, Bowman, Dunn, Golden Valley, Hettinger, Slope and Stark counties.
The agency will provide periodic home-based services including home visits and socialization opportunities, as well as center-based services five days per week in Dickinson.
CAP has been the Head Start grantee in the region since 1991 and serves about 152 preschool children and their families. There are seven other Early Head Start Programs in North Dakota.
Early Head Start focuses on families, Hansen said.
“We can begin services from the time a woman becomes pregnant and that’s probably even more critical when you think about it, in terms of young moms and making sure they have all the prenatal care and resources that they need,” she said.
Early Head Start programs mainly serve families with lower incomes or children with disabilities.
The new program will provide early childhood enrichment and learning activities, daily care, parenting education, comprehensive health and mental health services, including services for participating women before, during and after pregnancy; nutrition and other support for parents, according to a press release.
Hansen said the program should be 50 percent operational by summer. The program will be funded annually.
The program will be partnering with other agencies, including county social Service staff, Hansen said.
“If we have home-based services in there whether it’s parenting services, or whether it’s any other kind of services we offer, if we can send them toward Head Start we’ll do it,” said Tom Picken, director of Dunn County Social Services. “And, we’ll help them in any way we can.”