Following the restoration of early education funding, Rural Alaska Community Action Program, Inc. prepares to open doors to 22 of 24 Head Start sites on Sept. 3.

According to a press release, some classrooms and facilities will open with delayed starts. RurAL CAP says 10 staff positions were left open because of budget uncertainty, which led to delayed start times at the Kake and Kluti Kaah programs. The facilities will remain closed until staff positions are filled. Kodiak and Ketchikan locations will also have a late start for one classroom each.

"We are very excited to kick this school year off by welcoming most of our teachers and kiddos back for another year," said Kristin Ramstad, RurAL CAP Child Development Division Director. "Unfortunately, we've lost a combined 63 years of experience in staff who left RurAL CAP because of the budget turmoil."

RurAL CAP's Parents as Teachers home visiting program is also delayed in Haines and Kodiak. This program will be restored pending available funds, the release says. 

Ramstad says the programs have seen support from Alaska Department of Education and Early Development and other partners to maintain services.

"We are actively working to fill positions, so we are able to open all our doors as soon as possible," she said.

Since 1965, RurAL CAp has provided Head Start programming statewide, giving families early learning services aimed at providing development for young children in Rural Alaska.

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