The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has announced a $3.6 million immediate expansion for Head Start and Early Head Start services in Flint.
The one-time emergency funds will go toward expanding and enhancing services for families affected by the city's lead crisis.
Children who've been exposed to lead are at risk for lower IQs, developmental delays and other health problems.
The funding will add three classrooms that will be open through June 2017 and lengthen the school year by three weeks.
It will also provide families with more home support visits, transportation assistance to get to doctor and WIC appointments, and increased lead poisoning education for parents.
“Early education is one of the most important things we can do to help children overcome the effects of lead,” said Dr. Nicole Lurie with DHHS.
U.S. Congressman and Flint native Dan Kildee expressed support for the expansion.
“We know Head Start can change the trajectory of the life of a child. No matter the source of the hurdle they may have to overcome, we know this kind of support will make a difference in the lives of [Flint] kids,” Kildee said.