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Education

Jacksonville's Head Start Centers Under New Management

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Cyd Hoskinson
/
WJCT

Denver, Colorado-based Community Development Institute today took over the day-to-day management of Jacksonville's Head Start and Early Head Start programs.

The programs had been run by the Jacksonville Urban League until yesterday, when the federal Office of Head Start suspended the organization for a minimum of thirty days citing a pattern of safety violations at some of the child-development centers.

The Northeast Springfield center was cited just last month for leaving a 3-year old child alone on a bus for more than 6 hours.

But, Willie Watkins, who brings his 4-year old granddaughter to the Springfield Head Start center every morning, says he’s never had cause to worry.

"There's none of that here.  Not that I know of.  I've had my child here for, what, two years now?  And, I've never had a problem.  Never had a problem.  Matter of fact, I haven't even heard of such a problem here."

According to a letter given to the parents and guardians of children enrolled in Head Start, Community Development Institute (CDI) will spend the rest of this week meeting with families and staff members as well as making sure the centers themselves are running smoothly.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families has also set up a toll-free number parents can call for daily updates.  That number is 1-855-294-5715.

More information can also be found on the CDI website.

Head Start serves more than 2-thousand low income children in Duval County.