WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senators Robert Menendez and Cory Booker (both D-NJ) today announced $9,723,860 in federal grant awards for Passaic Family Head Start, East Orange Child Development Corporation, The Children's Home Society of New Jersey, and Montclair Child Development Center to strengthen their early childhood programs. The award was granted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

"This federal funding will support essential Head Start programs across our state to help prepare our children reach their full potential," said Sen. Menendez. "Quality early learning services provided by Head Start have proven to be extremely valuable in putting our most vulnerable students on the path to success, which is why I will continue fighting to ensure all New Jerseyan children have an opportunity to receive the quality educational experience they deserve."

"One of the most sound investments New Jersey can make is to provide our children with access to quality early education programs," said Sen. Booker. "This Head Start funding will support low-income children in Passaic and Monclair because all children, regardless of their family's socioeconomic status, deserve a fair shot at reaching their full potential. Access to quality education is a vital starting point that gives our children the support they need to succeed and I am committed to joining my colleagues in Congress to continue bringing federal resources back home to preserve this precious investment.

The Awards will go to:

  • The Children's Home Society of New Jersey will receive $3,246,340.00 for their Head Start and Early Head Start Program.
  • East Orange Child Development Corporation will receive $2,337,273.00 for their Birth to Five - Early Childhood Program.
  • Passaic Family Head Start, Inc. will receive $2,246,598.00 for their Head Start Program.
  • Montclair Child Development Center, Inc. will receive $1,893,649.00 for a Head Start/ Early Head Start Full Year Services to Handicapped.

Head Start is a federal program that promotes the school readiness of children ages birth to five from low-income families by enhancing their cognitive, social and emotional development. Head Start programs provide comprehensive services to enrolled children and their families, which include health, nutrition, social services and other services determined to be necessary by family needs assessments, in addition to education and cognitive development services.

Head Start was founded as part of Lyndon B. Johnson's War on Poverty in 1965. Since then, Head Start has grown from an eight-week demonstration project to include full day/year services and numerous program options. Head Start has served over 30 million children and their families in urban and rural areas in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. territories.