Federal sequester cuts are starting to sting for the state’s largest Head Start program. Southern New Hampshire Services has received a grant that is about 5 percent smaller than last years. SNHS provides pre-k programs for low-income families in Rockingham and Hillsborough counties.
The federal Department of Health and Human Services announced a grant of $5.3 million on Wednesday, or about $300,000 less than last year.
In order to absorb sequester cuts SNHS has closed classrooms and head-start sites, meaning some parents have to drive farther to take part. They’ve reduced enrollment by 48 children.
That experience matches the rest of the state. Head Start officials say that enrollment state-wide will drop by 150 students this year or about 9 percent.
Additional sequester cuts are expected later in the year for Head Start programs to achieve the 10 percent across the board cut mandated by the law.