On Monday, Operation: New View gave up management of the Head Start programs in Jackson, Dubuque and Delaware counties. Management shifted to a Denver-based nonprofit that specializes in managing agencies in transition.
In a press release announcing the change, Operation: New View emphasized that nothing should change for the 225 families using Head Start in the three-county area. Staff will be offered the same or similar positions, and applications will continue to be taken for the school year beginning the last week in August.
Community Development Institute (CDI) of Denver has a contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to maintain program operations and continuity anywhere in the nation, until a local organization can sponsor Head Start.
Head Start helps young children from low-income families get ready for school through preschool and other programs.
It may take more than a year to select a new local sponsor, officials said.
The switch follows many changes for Operation: New View, with a new interim executive director coming on last year, followed by a new fiscal director. The approximately $2.2-million Head Start program is required to be matched by 20 percent local funding and has operated at a deficit for several years.
Operation: New View board chair Steve Drahozal said that the decision was disappointing for those who worked hard to strengthen the program.
“It was frustrating in the end,” said interim executive director John Wilson. “We made great strides in budgeting and financial management, but we had to finally conclude that funding was inadequate to support the interest the Board had for the program, i.e. better wages for program staff and adequate function to support the administrative overhead costs required to fully support the fiscal account controls and activities. This ultimately was the best decision to permit the community to engage anew with designing a Head Start program that will excel for families.”