Tester Announces $3.8 million for Early Education Initiative in Butte

(Missoula, Mont.) – In a win for children, parents, and teachers throughout Butte, U.S. Senator Jon Tester announced $3.8 million in federal funding for Butte’s Early Head Start initiative today.

“Head Start ensures that all Montana children, regardless of circumstance, are prepared and have an equal opportunity to excel once they enter kindergarten,” Tester said. “There’s nothing more important than our kids and our grandkids. They’re Montana’s future. So investing in early childhood initiatives like Head Start is just a no brainer.”

The funding comes from the Administration for Children & Families, which oversees Head Starts nationwide. Whereas the original Head Start initiative focuses on providing educational enrichment opportunities to low-income children about to enter kindergarten, Early Head Start expands services to families and children between the ages of 0 and 3.

AWARE Inc. operates Early Head Start in Butte, and provides children and families with education, nutritional help, social services, mental health and disabilities services.

“Our program ensures all children-no matter their age or income-have access to the resources and preparation they need to thrive in kindergarten and beyond,” said Pat Noonan, Communications Director of AWARE Inc. “We want to thank Senator Tester for his dedication to the children of Butte and all across Montana.”

Tester has been a strong advocate for Head Start in the Senate, securing $9.2 billion for Head Start classrooms across the country this year. Tester has also pushed to provide more flexibility for local Head Start initiatives to better meet the individual needs of their students and communities.