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Champlain Valley Head Start opening new center in St. Albans

July 5, 2021 GMT

ST. ALBANS, Vt. (AP) — Champlain Valley Head Start is opening a new center in St. Albans in the former Barlow Street Community Center.

The new center could begin operations as early as September.

Program director Sandra Graves said the center would be the first of its kind in the St. Albans area.

“It’s the foot in the door for getting a child into an early education program, whether that’s classroom-based or home-based,” she said.

The St. Albans Messenger reports the program will be making services available for an additional 27 children in the area.

Champlain Valley Head Start serves Franklin, Chittenden, Addison and Grand Isle counties. It enrolls about 300 children. Across Vermont, Head Start programs serve about 1,000 children.

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The new center is opening with help of a federally funded annual operations grant of $614,000. The program also received one-time start-up funding of around $300,000 for minor renovations and materials such as furniture and learning equipment.

Officials are working on licensing the space but are unsure how long it will take to get get contractors and supplies due to delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We may have to postpone much of our renovation, but the classrooms are ready and the playgrounds are ready,” Graves said.