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Head Start program ends school year early

6:51 PM, May 13, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- This week many children in Head Start programs will wrap up the school year weeks earlier than usual.

In Jacksonville, nearly 3,000 children are enrolled in programs designed to promote early childhood education.

The Community Development Institute has been running Head Start since last month.

The Jacksonville Urban League was pulled from running operations after investigators found issues regarding the safety of students.

In a letter to parents, the CDI said Head Start classes will end this Friday, May 17. Early Head Start for children now 3-years-old will end on the same date.  

Summer programs have also been cancelled.

"Some aspects of the program are not functioning in ways that ensure children's safety...it will be necessary to hire additional staff and provide intensive training," wrote the mangers involved in running Head Start.

Parents say the changes caught them off guard.

"I guess [I will have] a lot of day care issues," said Jessica Gemma who has three children in Head Start programs and did not expect the school year to end early.

The Administration for Children and Families said it will have a review team in Jacksonville to check on the progress being made on correcting problems relating to child safety.

Head Start is taking applications for programs that will start again in the fall.  

First Coast News

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