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After Feds Cancel Head Start Grant Over Abuse, County To Have ‘Early Start’ Instead

Prince George’s County school officials announced Friday that they will retain control of their troubled Head Start early education program for this school year but will operate it without a federal grant, renaming it “Early Start” and paying for it with $5.5 million in local funds.

The plan follows negotiations with federal officials that go back to August, when school officials learned their Head Start grant was being terminated amid a failure to correct problems that included alleged staff misconduct and child abuse.

The school board ultimately voted to relinquish the federal grant of more than $6 million, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families (ACF) tapped a Denver-based organization to step in on an interim basis to continue services to prekindergarten students in the Maryland suburb.