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Malloy Finds State Money To Reopen Connecticut Head Start Program During Shutdown

Governor: Preschoolers Were Missing Meals, Parents Were Skipping Work
About 5,000 Head Start preschool students have been affected by the government shutdown. (credit: CBS 2)

About 5,000 Head Start preschool students have been affected by the government shutdown. (credit: CBS 2)

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy has stepped up to restart a key program for Bridgeport area preschoolers that was shut down by the federal government stalemate.

Bridgeport’s Head Start program for preschoolers was forced to closed when federal funds stopped rolling in. But as WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau reported, Malloy, a proponent of early education, has found $800,000 in state taxpayer money to keep the program open at least through mid-November.

Hundreds of preschool children were impacted.

“What’s going on in Washington is so destructive to people’s lives here in Connecticut and … New York and elsewhere,” Malloy told Schneidau.

“We had kids potentially missing meals because that’s what they would also get with this program,” Malloy added. “Their parents … could no longer go to work because there was no one to take care of the child after they had registered for this program and were relying on it.”

Even if the government shutdown drags on, the Head Start program might survive for a while. On Monday, National Head Start Association officials announced that a private donation of up to $10 million will help keep programs running nationwide during the shutdown.

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