The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local Education

June 18, 2014

New provider for Early Head Start programs named

Transition Resources Corp. will consolidate Head Start programs

ANDERSON — Early Head Start services provided by Transition Resources Corp. (TRC) will resume in Madison County after a short delay, the company's state director said on Wednesday.

The Hopewell Center notified families enrolled in Early Head Start it would stop operating the program effective June 30 because its federal grant was not renewed. That notification was made in early May, and families have been in limbo ever since.

Transition Resources also applied to run the federally-funded child development program for low-income families.

But the company wasn't notified it won the approximately $1.06 million competitive grant until Tuesday, said Kay Gordon, TRC's state Head Start director.

She said there was a delay of three weeks because of negotiations with federal program managers at the regional Office of Head Start in Chicago.

"There will be a little bit of lag time," while TRC and Hopewell employees share information for a smooth transition, she said. "We hope to have folks out and providing services by the first of August."

Gordon said the company will serve 101 children, from birth through age 3, and families and will hire 12 new employees for the program. She said current Hopewell workers are invited to apply. A special information session will be held for them on Monday.

Hopewell Center employees, meanwhile, are dealing with the impact of losing a program they ran for 18 years and working with TRC to accomplish a smooth transition, said Jane Ruff, executive director.

"We are very disappointed. I'm not going to pretend that we're not," said Ruff. "We served 1,306 children and families during that time and I think we had a great impact on people and families."

She added that loss of the grant will have a ripple effect on the center. Another use will have to be found for a building that will now be vacant. And the federal grant helped support some center operating costs.

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