$2.2 million grant to help Early Head Start program form in Forsyth County

$2.2 million grant to help Early Head Start program form in Forsyth County
April 09
00:00 2015
(Above: Photos by Erin Mizelle for The Chronicle- Bob Feikema, center, President and CEO of Family Services, visits with the 3-year-old students of Ms. Reyas, left, and Ms. Wright, at the Sarah Y. Austin Head Start Center on Tuesday, April 7. Family Services received a grant to form the Early Head Start program in Forsyth County.)

Chronicle Staff Report

Family Services, the nonprofit that administers the Head Start program in Forsyth County within its Child Development division, announced Tuesday, April 7, that it has received $2.2 million in federal funding that will bring the Early Head Start program to Forsyth County in September.

The initial grant period for Forsyth County is for three years, and is open for renewal.

Early Head Start (EHS) will operate year-round and serve low-income families with children from birth to 36 months of age, providing critical education and development services. EHS will serve 120 infants and toddlers and their families.

The federal funds also will allow Family Services to hire more people. “The Early Head Start grant will pay the salaries of at least 42 full-time staff members,” said Bob Feikema, president and CEO of Family Services.

Family Services will pilot a new model for Early Head Start that requires collaboration among community childcare providers to deliver the program. This model is intended to strengthen the community’s system of early childhood development programs.

“We will be partnering with community child care centers that will each provide one to three classrooms for infants and toddlers,” Feikema said. “This funding will enable us to provide high-quality early learning and child development services during the years when children need it most. Children enrolled in Early Head Start can ‘graduate’ into Head Start and have the benefit of up to five straight years of immersion in a research-based curriculum.  The years from birth to five are critical in terms of brain development and preparedness for school and beyond.”

EHS will offer continuous, intensive and comprehensive services to both children and their families.  Those services include health screenings, social and emotional health, nutrition, social services, and services for children with disabilities.

Head Start serves 499 preschoolers annually at four Family Services facilities located throughout the county, in six community childcare centers, and in three elementary school classrooms in collaboration with the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Elementary Schools.  Head Start also offers an extended day program for parents who are working and/or in training or school.

For more information, visit

About Author

WS Chronicle

WS Chronicle

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors