West Virginia early childhood programs to get $16.6M

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Several early childhood education programs in West Virginia will get $16.6 million in federal funding.

The state’s U.S. senators announced the new funding for Head Start and Early Head Start programs on Wednesday.

The largest amount, nearly $6.9 million, will go to the Northern Panhandle Head Start Inc. organization. There is $5.1 million for the Eastern Panhandle Instructional Cooperative, and less than $2 million each for Upshur Human Resources Inc., Monongalia County Board of Education and Greenbrier County Board of Education.

“Investing in West Virginians at an early age is essential for a bright future,” Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin said. “Head Start programs provide our youngest West Virginians with the skills and foundations they need to succeed throughout their education.”

The funding is made available through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“I have long been an advocate for Head Start funding,” Republican Sen. Shelley Moore Capito said in a statement. She added she has seen how much the programs matter to young people.