MONTICELLO – Sullivan County Head Start announced via social media on Friday, February 2, that they were closing its doors until further notice, effective immediately. The abrupt closure leaves …
MONTICELLO – Sullivan County Head Start announced via social media on Friday, February 2, that they were closing its doors until further notice, effective immediately. The abrupt closure leaves over 300 children and their families without services as well as 83 full-time and 11 part-time employees out of work.
However, Sullivan County Head Start told the Democrat on Monday that they plan on re-opening eventually and that this is a temporary closure. They said that they will have a joint announcement expected soon on it’s future with the organization’s Administrative Director, Bertha Williams, as County officials and representatives from Head Start met on Monday to discuss next steps.
Sullivan County Head Start, located at 393 State Route 52 Woodbourne, is a non-for-profit organization that was founded in 1989 and runs Head Start and Early Head Start programs in the county. They also have two facilities in Monticello that are also currently closed.
The statement released by Head Start reads in both English and Spanish, “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.”
While no reason for the closure was given in the statement, Sullivan County District 6 Legislator Luis Alvarez told the Democrat that it is a financial issue as they don’t have the money.
Alvarez also said that he had already called US Congressman Marc Molinaro’s (NY-19) office on Friday and Molinaro is looking into what he can do to help.
“[This program] is federally funded,” Alvarez said. “And if this goes [through], it’s going to affect Sullivan County really big. There are a lot of parents and there are a lot of programs that are run by them.”
“This is going to affect a lot of families,” Alvarez continued. “Most of the parents [in the county] have their kids there, they go to work and they leave them there.”
Molinaro’s office began working over the weekend with local officials to try and find replacement programs for the impacted families.
Commentors on the social media post who are affected by the sudden closure noted their dissappointment and shock, with focus on the children who rely on the school’s services as well as the teachers.
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