Sullivan County parents scrambling for services after abrupt closure of Head Start

Dozens of parents have reached out to News 12 since, saying they don’t know what’s going on and that the sudden closure is a shock. 

Blaise Gomez

Feb 6, 2024, 11:53 AM

Updated 165 days ago

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Hundreds of parents are scrambling for much-needed services after the abrupt closure of a Sullivan County nonprofit serving children, women, and families.
Head Start wrote on their Facebook page Friday, that, “Due to unforeseen circumstances, Sullivan County Head Start is closed until further notice. We will be keeping everyone apprised of the situation. We are deeply sorry and heartbroken.“ 
Dozens of parents have reached out to News 12 since, saying they don’t know what’s going on, and the sudden closure is a shock. 
The nonprofit has three locations in Sullivan that serve 349 children and was founded in 1989, according to its website - which also states that it is entirely federally, and county funded. 
The early childhood development program primarily serves low-income children until three years of age, pregnant women and families, according to Head Start’s website. 
A representative from Congressman Marc Molinaro‘s office says the program received more than $3.6 million in federal funds for services through March 31, 2024. "The Office of Head Start (OHS) has just informed me that Sullivan County Head Start has decided to relinquish its Head Start grant. In relinquishing its grant, OHS will now be able to transition Sullivan County’s Head Start program to an interim service provider. A timeline for this transfer has not yet been set by OHS, but we are continuing to push them to get this resolved immediately. Having kids without childcare and providers without a job for this amount of time is unacceptable," says Rep. Molinaro.
Sullivan County spokesperson Dan Hust tells News 12 that officials are working with local stakeholders, state and federal representatives to address the situation, and that more information will be shared when it is available. 
Anyone needing assistance is encouraged to call Sullivan County Health and Human Services at 845-292-0100. 
Our inquiries to Head Start for information were not immediately returned.


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