Tester Announces $2.6 Million for CSKT's Head Start Programs

(Big Sandy, Mont.) – Vice-Chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee Senator Jon Tester announced today that the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes will receive more than $2.6 million to fund their Head Start and Early Head Start Programs through the next fiscal year.

“The strength of our communities depends on our children,” Tester, a former teacher, said. “This funding will help give Native children access to the resources they need to thrive.”

CSKT will receive $2,628,861 in funding to run these two early education programs that cater to native children, ranging in age from newborns to 5. Head Start Programs cover five major components: education, health, nutrition, parental involvement, and social services. So this funding will go towards preparing children for kindergarten, completing health and nutrition screenings, and helping parents develop childrearing skills.

Funding for the CSKT’s Head Start and Early Head Start Programs comes from the Administration for Children and Families’ American Indian and Alaska Native Head Start Grants Program. The reservation’s first Head Start Program began back in 1965 and has since expanded to include children from Polson, Ronan, St. Ignatius, Dixon, Arlee, Elmo, and Pablo.

Tester has fought hard to increase educational opportunities throughout Indian Country. Tester last week announced $5 million in funding for Head Start Programs run by the Blackfeet and Northern Cheyenne Tribes and another $5 million in funding for programs to help first generation college-students finance and complete their degrees. You can learn more about Tester’s work on native education HERE.