Significant Changes for Head Start

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MEDFORD, Ore. — It’s an empty feeling for Southern Oregon Head Start.

“We’ll be serving 79 fewer children in Early Head Start and Head Start combined,” Nancy Nordyke commented with Southern Oregon Head Start.

The budget cuts from the sequester means significant changes for the preschool program, fewer children in need will be in the classrooms in a few weeks.

“We’re really disappointed by not being able to serve more children and families, because obviously there’s a lot of need out there and we have a waiting list, and we can’t serve as many children as we can,” Nordyke added.

The director of Southern Oregon Head Start says three classes have been cut in Medford and Grants Pass, and 19 positions have been eliminated. Even transportation to several classes has been reduced, and the effects are nationwide, where 57,000 slots for children have been eliminated.

Siskiyou County Early Head Start says it will have 24 fewer children, and has cut 2 employees.

“We know that children who live in poverty are at a great disadvantage by the time they get to public school if they don’t have some preschool and additional services,” Nordyke said.

And the outlook is murky. Officials say they can’t plan for the future until lawmakers settle on the budget.

“We don’t know what will happen then,” Nordyke explained.  “We’re hoping that there won’t be additional cuts, we would love to have our funds restored so that we can provide services to those children again.”

And they worry that instead of a Head Start, affected children will be falling behind. Southern Oregon Head Start will be holding a demonstration later this week at the Merriman Campus. They will have 79 empty seats to represent the 79 fewer children in the program this year.


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  1. Matthew A. Eldridge says:

    Mr. Rogers,

    I will allow you believe what you want but will challenge you, too. I am a parent, my kids have been well served by both Early and Head Start. In addition, I was on the leadership post of the Parent Committee and Policy Council and can assure you, there is no waste like you believe. It is comments like this that offend me. Believe what you want but be careful to defend it.

    Early Head Start caught my son’s vision issues and made it where he was able to get surgery earlier instead of waiting longer. This surgery had he not been in the Head Start program could have been delayed until two or more years and the loss of vision and damage unknown. To the credit of Head Start: It taught me other child how to become properly socialized and he was an advanced placement Kindergarten student. My other child will start Early Head Start this year and I must admit, I appreciate that our family is receiving these services when other will not.

    Therefore, believe what you want but please be ready to defend it. I don’t want to know what life for my kids would be without Head Start in their lives.

  2. Rick says:

    So what doe’s Head Start do that kindergarten doe’s not? A good father or mother would have noticed there child’s vision problem’s way before there child was old enoff to enroll at Head Start. And for them teaching you to be properly socialized, Is that not your parent’s job? And I believe that saying a child is an advanced placement kindergarten student is not saying really to much. That’s what I believe, and there’s nothing to defend.

    1. Anna Petrov RD says:

      Well Rick, for starters, your children would be on the way to learning how to spell simple English words, something you obviously never learned. Example: “doe’s” is the singular possessive of “doe” meaning a female deer or similar animal.

      The following sentence:

      “there child’s vision problem’s way before there child was old enoff to enroll at Head Start”

      should read: “…their child’s vision problems way before their child was old enough to enroll at Head Start.’

      So Rick, I suggest you get your young children into Head Start and give them a head start on spelling!

  3. Rick says:

    Well Im sorry my spelling is not good enoff for you, but it got me through 15 year’s in the Army, but thank you for the lesson teacher. And now that school is over, Let’s get back to the issue at hand. This is about taxing people over and over any time they want. Im a 70 year old man, on a very fixed income, and sometime’s I have to pick between my med’s or food, Not to say the cost for health care that I have to pay. I don’t have any extra, But they are going to try to take more from me. I don’t care one little bit about Head Start, My two children never went to Head Start and they turned out just fine. Head Start to me is nothing more than a high priced daycare center that i am being taxed for. I think the parent’s should pay for there kid’s schooling not me, If you want you kid to go to Head Start great , How about you pay for it and stop stealing from us old people. And just a thought, How about asking there parent’s to see there green cards. Head Start would loose half there kid’s right there, wow look more money for the school.

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