Last updated: May 14. 2014 12:19PM - 474 Views

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Due to changes in program requirements, the Sampson County Partnership for Children’s Board of Directors recently determined it will discontinue negotiations with the Office of Head Start regarding the possibility of the Partnership being considered for the renewal of the Early Head Start grant.

The Office of Head Start has a commitment to serve the children and families in Sampson County through the Early Head Start program and will provide the funding to accomplish this goal, officials noted in a prepared release; however, the Partnership for Children will no longer be administering or housing the Early Head Start program, effective July 1, 2014. A reduction in force will also be necessary, officials at the Partnership said.

“Funding for non-profit programming is always an ongoing issue and sometimes there simply is not enough funding available to provide the high level of quality services needed to meet the expectations of the funder,” commented Dr. Victoria Byrd, executive director of the Sampson County Partnership for Children.

“Early Head Start has been a wonderful opportunity for our organization and a very positive addition to our roster of services for children and families. While we will miss this program, it will allow our organization to reassess our priorities and focus on the many other programs we offer which include a variety of Smart Start funded programs, the National Parents As Teachers Program and the North Carolina Pre-Kindergarten Program.”

Easily accessible home visiting services better utilized by the community has been a priority for the Partnership for Children since receiving a federal Early Head Start grant award in 2009. The Office of Head Start provided funding to allow the Partnership to build a strong program focused on the health, cognitive, physical, social and emotional development of infants and toddlers while also supporting families to self-sufficiency through collaboration with other agencies and organizations within the county.

Through the years families have received intensive in-home visits on a weekly basis and two monthly socializations allowing children and parents to play and learn together in a nurturing environment.

Sampson County Partnership for Children works to ensure that children, birth to five, are prepared for success in school and in life. This mission is carried out in three goal areas: accessible and available high quality child care, safe and healthy living environments and kindergarten readiness. Through community collaborations and funding of local partners, the Partnership expands the support available to children and their families. By working together, outcomes are strengthened not only for our children, but the entire community. To learn more about the mission of the Sampson County Partnership for Children, visit www.scpfc.org.

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