Audrey Washington, Steve Pancione
State funding helped reopen Head Start programs.
A Head Start program that has been closed for two weeks because of the federal government shutdown has reopened after receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars from the state.
Action for Bridgeport Community Development, or ABCD, provides schooling and childcare for low-income families and the recent infusion of state funding will allow them to resume helping hundreds of families.
"The governor provided us with $800,000 in state funds, which allowed us to bring back the 700 families that were not being served," Bill Bevacqua, deputy director of ABCD, said.
ABCD was one of several Head Start programs across the country that was forced to close because of the government shutdown.
Many of the Head Start programs were able to resume operations after Laura and John Arnold, philanthropists from Houston, Texas, offered up to $10 million in emergency funding support. However, the Bridgeport-based non-profit had concerns about state requirements.
"(The) funding wouldn't come to us until after we signed a contract and that would have meant that the expenses we've already incurred in the program would not be met by that grant," Bevacqua said.
On Tuesday morning, parents said they are just happy that funding finally came through and children can get back to learning.
Several parents said the closure was particularly difficult for them because they were either forced to make last-minute arrangements or stay home from work to care for their children.