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EBR Head Start administrators says program still safe after feds slash budget

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BATON ROUGE- Sign up for East Baton Rouge Parish Head Start was in full swing Saturday.

"We're inviting parents to come out and submit applications to enroll their child in the 2013-14 class," says Progress Road Head Start Supervisor Sheila Washington.

However, it's a different story in other areas. Several programs across the country are closing their classrooms early or turning children away. This comes after President Obama signed a sequestration order cutting head start grants by 5 percent last month.

"It affects the whole community, because I mean it's getting your child ready for life experience for what you know they got going on," says Lanesia Drake.

Drake signed up her son for Head Start at Saturday's recruitment event.

The long running federally funded program provides early education, parenting class, health screenings and other services to children age five and under.

Head start says around round 70,000 children will lose access to the program nationwide because of the cuts. So far that's not happening in EBR Parish, but administrators say they're watching what's going on in Washington very closely.

"Of course we're worried about it, because it concerns us. We are a part of head start. So anything that deals with head start, eventually it will probably affect us also," says Washington.

Head start is free for those who qualify.


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