MAINE, USA — Over $2.5 million will be awarded to York and Hancock Counties to help low-income families with free early childhood education and childcare.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is awarding close to $1.4 million to York County Community Action Corporation in Sanford, and a little over $1.1 million to Downeast Community Partners in Ellsworth for Head Start programs. 

The announcement about the funding was made Thursday, December 5, in a joint statement by Senators Susan Collins and Angus King. 

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“In order to attend a school or participate in the workforce, parents need assurances that their children are being well cared for. This funding provides much-needed resources to support early childhood development in York and Hancock County, giving Maine’s kids the strong foundation they need to grow,” said Senators Collins and King.  “Head Start programs provide a safe, educational, and enjoyable environment for Maine’s children to make connections and learn from their caregivers and peers – and every nickel spent is a judicious investment in Maine’s future.”

Head Start, which began in 1965, helps eligible four- and five-year-old preschoolers and their families with school, health, nutritional, and social services.