Tuesday morning press conference planned for Head Start announcement

NORWALK, Conn. — The promised Monday night announcement about the Head Start program turned into an informal response to a series of emails and Tweets inquiring about when the announcement might be forthcoming.

The answer — There will be an 11 a.m. press conference Tuesday to make an announcement.

That response came from state Sen. Bob Duff (D-Norwalk), one of three state and federal officials NancyOnNorwalk contacted Monday night. The others were U.S. Rep. Jim Himes (D-Greenwich) and Kenneth Wolfe, the spokesman for the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), the federal agency that oversees Head Start and that appointed Community Development Institute (CDI) to take over the Norwalk program following Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now’s (NEON) contract suspension in October.

There was no indication what the Tuesday announcement would say.

Wednesday, Himes, Duff, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), state Rep. Bruce Morris (D-140) and Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling were involved in a conference call with ACF, Rilling said Wednesday night, adding that discussions about Head Start had taken up”a major part of the day.”

As a result of the Wednesday discussions, CDI announced Thursday on its recorded phone message (855-294-5718) that it would be hiring staff beginning Monday and, on Monday night, would make an announcement regarding reopening this week for children enrolled in Norwalk classrooms. That announcement never came and, as of 12:26 a.m. Tuesday, the Thursday phone message had not been updated.

Prior to Wednesday’s discussions, rumors were swirling that Head Start would not reopen until January.

NEON’s contract to operate Head Start was suspended by ACF for at least 30 days on Oct. 24. ACF cited concerns about NEON’s financial practices as well as concerns about the health and safety of the children as reasons for the suspension.

Because in part of problems CDI/ACF had with NEON negotiating use of classroom space in the Benjamin Franklin and Nathaniel Ely schools, NEON Head Start families have been without a program for more than five weeks.


5 responses to “Tuesday morning press conference planned for Head Start announcement”

  1. Gricelda Batres

    Solo se la pasan en dis q reuniones y no llegan a un acuerdo, YA BASTA de jugar con los padres de esa manera, queremos echos no palabras.. Ya esperamos mucho tiempo, hemos perdido dias de trabajo al no tener cuidado infantil, necesitamos saber si re abriran el programa Si o No.

  2. Gricelda Batres

    Espero q así como estamos sufriendo las consecuencias los padres de familia así mismo caiga todo el peso de la ley sobres las personas responsables de todo este alboroto. Esas personas corruptas tienen q pagar las malas acciones, fueron demasiadas personas afectadas como para dejarlas sin un merecido castigo.

  3. dawn

    thought i would help by posting a translation (a very bad translation Sorry)
    but here it is

    Gricelda Batres December 3, 2013 at 8:22 a.m.

    Only they spend in meetings and dis q can not reach an agreement, ENOUGH with parents playing that way, we echos no words .. We’ve waited a long time, we have lost days of work by not having child care, we need to know if re will open the program or Off
    Gricelda Batres December 3, 2013 at 8:27 a.m.

    I hope q and are suffering the consequences parents likewise falls full weight of the law on the people responsible for all this fuss. These corrupt people are paying q misdeeds were too many people involved to be left without a deserved punishment.

    1. Mark Chapman

      Thanks Dawn. I ran the comments through an online translation program to make sure they were OK to publish, but did not want to try to choose which translation was the best. I may have been a straight-A Spanish student in high school, but high school has virtually disappeared from the rear-view mirror…

  4. Thanks Dawn!
    I think anything posted in spanish should be translated at the same time, otherwise it is reverse discrimination.

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