May 17, 2017
The Champaign County Regional Planning Commission hosted an open house at their new Head Start facility in Urbana, Illinois, on Thursday, March 16, 2017. Housed in the former Happi House Learning Center, Head Start staff spent several weeks preparing the new location for its official opening to children and teachers on February 27. It provides year-round services to children from six-weeks-old to five years of age.
“The importance of this new center cannot be overstated,” says Brandi Granse, director of Champaign County Head Start/Early Head Start. “Not only have we expanded educational hours from three-and-a-half to six, at no cost to families, there is also a 10-hour option available for families eligible for the Child Care Resource Service.”
The new facility includes nine classrooms, of which seven are for preschool-age children and two for infants and toddlers. It also features a kitchen, a multipurpose room for gross motor activities, a library and space for a counseling or developmental therapy room, all elements the previous Urbana Head Start location did not have. Granse adds that the property offers easier and safer access to playgrounds and that there are Champaign-Urbana MTD stops nearby.
Champaign County Head Start/Early Head Start serves nearly 600 children and families in Champaign County. They have been working for more than 50 years to provide a comprehensive early learning experience for at-risk children and families. Expanded federal funding for Head Start and Early Head Start has provided the resources necessary to advance early childhood education, social and health service, and parental involvement critical to promoting a love of learning and future academic success. “Continued funding of Head Start/Early Head Start will help us meet the evolving needs of the most vulnerable children and families in our community,” Granse stresses.