Navajo Head Start gets budget increase

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. - President Barack Obama increased the Fiscal Year 2016 budget by $1.5 billion for national Head Start programs across the country. This brings the total annual funding amount to $10.1 billion a year for all its programs.

Sharon H. Singer, assistant superintendent of Navajo Head Start (NHS), the largest Head Start Program in the nation, is excited about the increase in the federal government's budget and said it was exciting news.

"The increase in the federal government's budget for Head Start programs is exciting news," said Singer. "Navajo Head Start will be able to continue to expand services to current families enrolled in the program and begin serving new families."

Singer explained $1.1 billion of this increase is to allow children to get the educational services they need.

"The program will be able to extend to a full school year," she said. "This provides learning opportunities throughout the year."

The budget for Early Head Start is also increased by $150 million for the next fiscal year for all programs across the country. The total amount will be $650 million dollars, which will help provide the program to more families.

Singer hopes to develop educational programs to prepare the nation's youngest children for the K-12 system.

"An increase in funding will allow for NHS to not only serve more families, but also continue making much needed improvements," she added. "Navajo Head Start would like to recruit more highly-qualified staff and begin construction development plans for a new Head Start facility in the future."

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