MARSHFIELD, Maine — Child and Family Opportunities Inc., the Head Start grantee for Hancock and Washington counties, is reducing services at its Marshfield Early Care and Education Center by the end of the year due to state funding cuts.
It closed its preschool Head Start child care classroom in Marshfield on Dec. 18 and will no longer provide part-day Head Start services at its Flaherty Early Care and Education Center on the campus of the University of Maine at Machias.
Two staff will be laid off and another assistant teacher position, which has been vacant, will not be filled.
“The service reductions were necessary because CFO has received funding cuts in excess of $260,000 as a result of a rollback of State Child Care Slots reimbursements and a significant change in the Medicaid targeted case management program,” CFO Executive Director Jeanie Mills said in a press release.
“In addition, CFO has experienced a reduction in its preschool enrollment as more Machias-area schools have started to operate their own Pre-K classrooms and have chosen not to partner with Head Start to jointly deliver those services,” she said.
CFO consulted with its Parent Policy Council, including parent representatives to develop criteria to select sites for closure. The criteria considered ability of the site to maintain full enrollment and whether or not other community programs served as partners.
One classroom of full Early Head Start and child care services to infants and toddlers will continue at the Marshfield center, but preschool services at that site will cease.
In addition, CFO will continue to operate the Flaherty Early Care and Education Center on the UMM campus, which provides full-day services for up to 20 3- through 5-year-olds and offers full-day services for children ages 6 weeks through 3 years in an infant-toddler classroom.
For information, go to www.childandfamilyopp.org/machias.html.