Save the Children, which has operated Head Start and Early Head Start programs since 2011, has expanded operations in Louisiana and will now serve children and families in three additional parishes, including Natchitoches, Red River and DeSoto, the nonprofit announced on July 16. The program will serve 310 children, including 270 children ages 3-5 in the Head Start Program. For the first time, Early Head Start services will be offered to 40 infants and toddlers ages birth-3. Services will begin this fall with enrollment commitments to children with special needs, children in foster care and to families experiencing homelessness.
Save the Children has assumed operations from the Natchitoches Parish Government following its 29-year legacy administering high quality Head Start services in both Natchitoches and DeSoto Parishes. Sharon Harris, executive director of the Office of Community Services for Natchitoches Parish, shared, “We are pleased to see the early education opportunities will continue with expanded services for our families.”
“Save the Children is grateful for the opportunity to expand its Head Start programs in Louisiana and excited to introduce center-based Early Head Start services for infants and toddlers for the first time in these three parishes,” said Khari Garvin, Save the Children’s executive director of Head Start. “We look forward to building on the Natchitoches Parish Government’s history of serving young children and their families for the last three decades.”
Head Start and Early Head Start are federally funded programs that offer early learning opportunities to children birth to age 5 and their families living in poverty. The programs provide comprehensive services, including education, health, social-emotional and family engagement, to address the developmental needs of children and families. Save the Children operated Head Start and Early Head Start programs in rural communities in four states- Arkansas, Louisiana, North Carolina, and North Dakota- serving more than 1,600 children and their families.
Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. Since our founding 100 years ago, we’ve changed the lives of more than 1 billion children. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children- every day and in times of crisis- transforming their lives and the future we share.