CRANSTON, RI – Donning a hard hat and swinging a ceremonial sledge hammer, U.S. Senator Jack Reed today helped mark the start of renovations to a new Head Start early education center facility on Broad Street, and assisted Comprehensive Community Action Program (CCAP) with its mission of empowering low-income families to overcome barriers to economic opportunity and educational development.

Senator Reed was joined at the event by CCAP President and CEO Joanne McGunagle; Mayor Allan Fung; Councilman Steven Stycos (Council Ward 1), early childhood educators, and other dignitaries.

The walls came tumbling down and the interior will soon have a new look thanks in part to a $938,708 federal grant Senator Reed helped secure for CCAP’s Child Development Centers Head Start Program.  When it is completed, the Head Start renovation and expansion project will give students much-needed state-of-the-art classroom space, as well as space for future growth.

Head Start is a federal program that provides early childhood education, health, nutrition and parent involvement services to low-income children and families.   Children cared for at CCAP’s Head Start and Early Head Start centers range from infants to three-year-olds and receive nutritious meals and snacks along with quality care focused on educational, social, and emotional development.

“Renovating this space will help CCAP expand their classroom space while also expanding opportunities for kids,” said Senator Reed, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee.  “We want every child to have a chance to start off strong and achieve their full potential.  I am proud to have helped deliver these federal funds.  This is a win for the neighborhood, especially young families in need of high-quality, affordable, comprehensive care and education that are the hallmarks of Head Start.  I commend Joanne McGunagle for her vision and leadership and everyone at CCAP for making a positive difference.  They are preparing children to succeed, putting them on a path to a brighter future, and improving outcomes for children, families, and our community.”

Joanne McGunagle,  MPA, President and Chief Executive Officer, CCAP, stated:  “We are thrilled to have receive this grant and grateful to Senator Reed for all his support.  As the City of Cranston’s largest child care provider this new state of the arts child development center will give us a permeant home in the eastern part of Cranston allowing young families’ better access to high quality Head Start, Early Head Star and Child Care in their neighborhood.”

CCAP’s Child Development Centers Head Start Program is being awarded the renovation grant by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Office of Head Start.

In April, 2018, CCAP purchased 1725 Broad Street in Cranston.  This new facility will allow CCAP to expand the number of classrooms serving infants six weeks to three years of age (one infant/toddler classroom with eight children) and children ages three to five (two preschool classrooms with 18 children in each room). This new, state of the art Head Start site will enable the program to be more neighborhood focused in the northeast part of Cranston. 

CCAP is the largest child care provider in Cranston and currently serves 270 children, including 182 Head Start students and 20 infants/toddlers in Early Head Start. 

A senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Reed helped secure $10.06 billion nationally for Head Start in the FY 2019 Appropriations spending package, an increase of $200 million over the last fiscal year. 

Each year, Rhode Island receives over $27 million in federal funding to serve over 2,630 infants, toddlers, and pre-schoolers enrolled in early learning programs like Head Start, and give parents peace of mind that their children are being well-cared for while they are working to support their families.