LADYSMITH, WI -- It is with great sadness ICAA has learned the Head Start grant application for our service area was not awarded for the 2021-2022 school year. However, there will be an interim management company that will continue providing Head Start services to the families and communities in Burnett, Clark, Rusk, Sawyer, Taylor, and Washburn counties. With this announcement will come a transition for many of ICAA’s workforce.
ICAA’s Head Start program provides high-quality education and services to help children age 3-5 become school ready. This is accomplished through support and resources for the whole family and through encouraging parents to be active in their children’s learning. The program also provides additional resources in areas like education, nutrition, health, social needs, and more. Head Start operates through independent centers and collaborations with some local school districts. ICAA staff have many years of quality experience in providing Head Start services in our communities.
ICAA will continue to operate Head Start through June 30, 2021. Beginning July 1, 2021, many of the Head Start staff will have the chance to apply for positions under an interim management company. ICAA is regretful they will not be able to keep all our talented Head Start staff through the transition but are glad to know that there may be opportunities for staff to apply for employment and continue to serve their communities. Jennifer Shearer, CEO, said, "Generally when you have transitions like this, your concern is ensuring your hard- working, dedicated staff continue their employment, and children and families see little to no interruption is this extremely valuable service. We're grateful to see that many of our talented educators may have opportunities to continue working and serving our communities. That is what's most important."
"It is essential for our Head Start families to know that their children will still be able to continue to use these services throughout and after the transition. Continuity of high-quality, childcare and education services for our communities is one of our main goals as we work through this transition," says Ms. Shearer. “We know how critical Head Start services are and we want to assure our families and communities that program operations will continue to operate as smoothly as possible.”
Ms. Shearer continued, “It is a hard, but very real truth of the nonprofit industry that funding is never promised. What we receive this year may not always be there the next. We will continue to work hard to secure funding to expand our programs and services and continue to support our staff and the community. We know how important Head Start is to our families and communities, so we will continue to seek opportunities for funding throughout the next year.” ICAA will apply for Head Start funding again in 2022 and is hopeful that through continued collaboration with the Office of Head Start, they can resume operation of the Head Start program for the 2022-2023 school year. In the meantime, ICAA will continue to provide valuable services and resources in their communities throughout Northwestern Wisconsin.
For more information about ICAA call 715-532-4222 or visit www.indianheadcaa.org.
About ICAA: Indianhead Community Action Agency, Inc. is a registered 501(c)3 Charitable Organization and an equal opportunity employer and provider operating under an Affirmative Action plan.