Sequestration effects for local head start programs

By Denise Jackson

July 1, 2013 Updated Jul 1, 2013 at 7:22 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Local head start and early childhood programs will feel the effects of federal spending cuts mandated by sequestration.

Beginning July 1, Peoria Citizens Committee for Economic Opportunity will see more than $300,000 cut from its budget for head start and early childhood programs.

Executive Director McFarland Bragg says that means 35 slots typically reserved for children will be eliminated and staffing must be reduced.

He says the cuts could not have come at a worse time when children test lower in math and science compared to children in Japan and other industrialized nations.

"The only way that we are gonna try to bridge that gap is to make sure that our kids are prepared early so that when they get into the school system they can compete with their peers who have all those other things, who have computers," he said.

McFarland Bragg says some training programs for parents will also be eliminated.

He also says some head start bus drivers that had been full time will be reduced to part time.