Mount Pocono – Congressman Paul E. Kanjorski (PA-11) announced $96,772 for Pocono Services for Families & Children (PSFC) for its Head Start program which has allowed the organization to continue to serve children in Monroe County by providing needed early childhood education and family development services, while also creating jobs and helping working families. Specifically, the funding has helped PSFC hire new teachers, improved teacher training, and provided working families with full day child care. The federal funding was allocated as a result of the recovery package that Congress passed on February 13, 2009.
“This funding has greatly helped many children and assisted working families throughout Monroe County,” said Congressman Kanjorski. “Too many families are unable to afford early education for their children, but PSFC is able to provide these needed services, and will now be able to continue its work. This funding has also greatly helped to promote job growth in the area, provided needed training for teachers, and ensured that more students can receive full day child care so that their parents can work without having to worry about their children during the day. Today, we can see the positive benefits of the recovery package for specific students, parents, teachers, and the community.”
“Congressman Kanjorski’s support for the recovery package has helped ensure that PSFC can continue to do its work to help children and families in Monroe County,” said Timothy Lee, PSFC Head Start director. “We need resources to help our children move ahead, and this funding helps us do just that. As a result of this funding, we have been able to hire more teachers, train more teachers to better improve students’ capabilities, and help further develop our full day child care programs to better assist working families.”
The funding from the recovery package has enabled PSFC to help 9 teachers receive certification and bachelor’s degrees to provide improved, quality child care for students. It also allowed PSFC to hire 6-8 new employees to help increase the capabilities of the Head Start program to work with more students. As a result, PSFC is now able to provide full day child care services, rather than just four hours per day.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare’s Office of Child Development and Early Learning, the quality of employees’ work improves when they know that their children are enrolled in quality day care programs, and they are also more likely to remain in the work force. As such, employees’ work levels decrease when their children are enrolled in inadequate or unreliable day care programs, impacting each family, the company, and co-workers. There are currently 220 students enrolled in PSFC’s program, and 75-80 families that receive subsidies for full day care. The funding has also been used to install rubber flooring on the playground, replacing rocks and mulch, and making the playground more accessible and safer for children.
PSFC works to provide resources for the evolving needs of children and families in the community. It has grown from an 8-week summer program serving 12 children to a year round program serving more than 200 children each year. PSFC continues to expand programming to better serve needy and disabled children and their families in Monroe County. PSFC has facilities in Mount Pocono, East Stroudsburg, and Pleasant Valley. The Head Start program helps provide comprehensive early child development for economically disadvantaged children and families.
(Source: Office of Congressman Paul Kanjorski)