UMass Donahue Institute Wins $14M Contract for Head Start Training, Technical Assistance

HADLEY — The UMass Donahue Institute has been awarded a five-year, $14 million contract to provide training and technical assistance to Head Start and Early Head Start programs for all six New England states. The grants allows the institute to continue to work with local Head Start programs on their educational, health, and family services as well as management systems to strengthen their ability to serve children and their families.

Head Start and Early Head Start programs provide comprehensive services that support the development of children from birth to age 5, and their families, in centers, childcare partner locations, and their own homes. Early Head Start also provides services to pregnant women. Head Start and Early Head Start services include early learning, health, and family well-being.

The contract was awarded by the Office of Head Start in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Nationally, Head Start/Early Head Start is divided into 12 regions. UMass Donahue Institute will be the sole provider of training and technical assistance to Region 1, which includes Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. The institute was first awarded the New England training and technical assistance grant in 2003.

“We are honored to continue serving Head Start programs throughout New England,” said Eric Heller, executive director of the UMass Donahue Institute. “We have been the predominant provider of training and technical assistance to Head Start in this region for the past 17 years and continue to build on an outstanding reputation.”

Ruth-Ann Rasbold, UMass Donahue Institute’s regional Early Childhood manager, noted that “Head Start is such an essential set of services and supports for children and families. We are glad that we can remain a partner with New England Head Start programs as they continually improve their services.”

Added Rosario Dominguez, Training & Technical Assistance coordinator, “we are honored to continue to work with the Office of Head Start and New England Head Start programs in supporting families with young children, in our communities, to build strong foundations for achieving their goals and full potential.”

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