YMCA Cape Cod has been awarded Head Start/Early Head Start grant funding, enabling the organization to meet the early education and childcare needs of families in Barnstable County. YMCA Cape Cod has been providing early childhood education & care on Cape Cod for several decades, but this is the first time it will be a designated Head Start program provider. The Region 1 Office of Head Start awarded two grants to YMCA Cape Cod. The organization will receive $1.2 million to provide 74 Head Start children (ages 3-4). It will also receive $1.16 million to provide Early Head Start children (ages 0-3 years). Both programs will open on December 1, 2020. This $2.4 million grant is an ongoing annual funding resource for the next five years totaling more than $12M over the period. Year one funding also includes $1.45 million for startup costs, $208,000 for COVID-19 pandemic support, and $33,000 for training and technical assistance. YMCA Cape Cod Head Start programs will be offered in the following locations: • Dennis and/or Yarmouth, at a location to be announced in the late fall/early winter • Falmouth at the Falmouth Hospital campus on Ter Heun Drive • Harwich on the Cape Cod Regional Tech High School campus on Pleasant Lake Ave. • Harwich at the Harwich Elementary School on South Street • Hyannis at the Hyannis Village Marketplace on Stevens Street opening in 2021 Children currently enrolled in Head Start programs elsewhere in Barnstable County will be transitioned smoothly to Y locations for opening December 1st. Open enrollment for all eligible families will begin in late fall. “This is enormously exciting news for the Y,” says Stacie Peugh, CEO. “We are committed to quality early childhood education and care as a key way to deliver on our mission of youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. My deepest thanks to our Board, staff, and the many professionals supporting us through the Head Start application and start-up process. We are proud of our history in developing our community’s children to become thriving adults and look forward to welcoming Head Start children in December.” Liz Rabideau, Chief Volunteer Officer (Chair of the Board of Directors), added: “ The Y has always been so much more than a ‘gym and swim.’ Our programs are broad and diverse, specifically designed to meet the unique needs of Cape Cod. The Head Start programs will allow us to increase access to early childhood education for those families in geographical areas most in need. We are privileged and honored to accept the Head Start grant for Barnstable County. I have every confidence in our ability to provide outstanding oversight and stewardship of this incredibly important work.” Head Start programs promote school readiness for children ages birth to five from low- income families. Head Start programs support children’s growth and development in a positive learning environment through a variety of services, which include: Early learning: Children’s readiness for school is fostered through individualized learning experiences. Through relationships with adults, play, and planned and spontaneous instruction, children grow in many aspects of development. Children progress in social skills and emotional well-being, along with language and literacy learning, and concept development Health: Children’s perceptual, motor, and physical development is supported to permit them to fully explore and function in their environment. All children receive health and development screenings, nutritious meals, oral health and mental health support. Programs connect families with medical, dental, and mental health services to ensure that children are receiving the services they need. Family well-being: Parents and families are supported in achieving their own goals, such as housing stability, continued education, and financial security. Programs support and strengthen parent-child relationships and engage families around children’s learning and development.