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Local program gets good news after weeks of worry because of government shutdown

Local program gets good news after weeks of worry because of

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Community Partnership for Child Development said Wednesday critical money will arrive less than two days before the start of its new fiscal year, despite concerns because of the government shutdown.

Community Partnership for Child Development, or CPCD, helps almost 2,000 children around El Paso County through its Head Start and Early Head Start programs. The programs help prepare low-income children for kindergarten.

The fate of its federal grant money was in jeopardy during the government shutdown.  CPCD is 75 percent federally funded.  After the shutdown ended, the program was still in jeopardy. The federally employees that processed the grants were furloughed. It takes a long time to approve federal grants and time was running out to processes CPCD's grants by its Nov. 1 deadline.

CPCD would have had to make tough decision and possible close some of its 72 classrooms throughout the county did not arrive at the start of its fiscal year.

"We were able to have our grant renewed so that as of Nov. 1, we can continue to draw down our federally money and keep our Head Start and Early Head Start programs open," said Landis-Tyson.

Rachell Ruiz has two daughters in the program. She wanted to send her daughters to preschool, but she couldn't afford it.

"If this program is extinguished, we won't have it," said Ruiz.

CPCD is no longer worried about the impact of the government shutdown on the program. However, the fate of funding for the programs in the future is still in question because of sequestration.

"This past year we were cut by $550,000 and we lost 142 seats in Head Start," said Landis-Tyson. "We are very concerned sequestration will continue and the cuts will continue."

CPCD is planning ahead if cuts continue in the future because of sequestration.

There are still questions about money in the future, but CPCD knows one thing is certain: the future looks bright for its students.

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