The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will award nearly $10 million to Hawaii three nonprofits that operate the Head Start preschool program.

HCAP, which offers preschool programming for children ages 3 to 5 on Oahu at 70 locations, will receive nearly $7 million.

Maui Family Support Services, which runs the Head Start program on Maui, Molokai, and Lanai, and Kauai’s Child & Family Service will receive approximately $1.5 million each to keep the programs running.

“Every family should have the support they need to prepare young children for the next step, and Head Start is there to make that a reality,” U.S. Senator Brian Schatz said in a statement. “This funding will help put more preschoolers on the right track and give Hawaii families tools and resources to help their kids succeed.”

The federal program is offered to eligible families with low incomes and focuses on language, literacy, and social and emotional development.

More than 1,500 children and their families participate in Head Start programming led by HCAP on Oahu each year. On Kauai, approximately 150 children participated in 2018.

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