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An early first for county
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MONROE - Federal stimulus money will allow an even earlier Head Start in Green County.

Green County is slated to receive a significant portion of the federal stimulus money received by Dane County Parent Council, Inc. (DCPC), provider of Head Start and Early Head Start programs in Dane and Green counties.

Green County will be receiving about $257,400 to start and staff an Early Head Start program, according to Marcia Huemoeller, executive director of DCPC.

Early Head Start is a federally-funded program focusing on support of pregnant mothers and their children up to 3 years old. Head Start is for preschool-age children.

"For the first time, we will get Early Head Start into Green County," Huemoeller said.

The money will allow DCPC to hire two full-time family advocates and serve 22 more children in Green County.

Huemoeller said DCPC wants to fill the two family advocate positions from applicants in Green County.

"Of course, we will be concentrating on a best-fit basis," Huemoeller said.

The positions will require family advocates to make home visits with participating families. Each advocate will have a small caseload of only 11 families each, so as to provide intense service to the families, she said.

Brodhead, Argyle and Monroe were communities identified as having the needs Early Head Start can provide, she added.

Total federal stimulus funding will give DCPC about $1.7 million the first year, for costs including startup and new employment opportunities, and $1.2 million for ongoing operations.

DCPC is to expand comprehensive early childhood services beginning in 2010, and will employ 30 new staff members and serve 122 additional children and families through its 17 Head Start locations.

Huemoeller said the competitive awards are based on documented need of young children and families, and the capacity of DCPC to provide exemplary comprehensive early childhood education and supportive services to families. The grants are administered by the federal Office of Head Start.

Green County already has a Head Start program for young families with infant and toddlers. Ten children are enrolled in the 4-year-old kindergarten program and an additional six children are in its preschool program located in Abraham Lincoln Accelerated Learning Academy. Head Start employs its own staff; they are not school district employees.

The Monroe School District renewed its agreement with Head Start for the 2009-2010 school year, after a one-year absence. The district had ended its agreement last year, citing a pattern of communication problems with Head Start administration.

Contact Head Start in Monroe at (608) 328-7824. Job opportunities with DCPC and Head Start can be found at Two job openings are listed there for Family Advocate and Bilingual Family Advocate in Green County.