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Early Head Start grant awarded

St. Joseph County has been awarded $3 million over the next three years for a new Early Head Start program that local educators say has the potential to change the landscape of preschool child care countywide.
The competitive grant — one of only three awarded in Michigan — is expected to have impact on the kindergarten readiness of more than 700 county preschoolers in a program that involves the participation of young children, their parents and childcare providers.
Deana Strudwick, director of early childhood education for the St. Joseph County Intermediate School District, said the money will allow the ISD’s expanded staff to help child-care providers incorporate a curriculum designed to prepare preschoolers to be successful kindergarten students.
She said the money will buy a state recognized preschool curriculum, train and equip participating day care providers, and implement the learning program with coaching support from new ISD staff.

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