ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- A group of Rockford parents say they've been kept in the dark about what's happening with a program they rely on to help prepare their kids for school.
Parents have heard the city wants to restructure the Head Start program but those parents say it’s unclear what that will look like. They were pretty frustrated during a meeting Wednesdays night with Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey at Henrietta school. He told the crowd, the program isn't being shut down, however he does expect in about a year there will be discussions about changes to the program. The city is looking for partners to provide Head Start Services since fewer federal funds are coming in while plenty of families take part in the program. The city of Rockford hopes it can partner with other community groups, like the Rockford School District, to continue offering child care and education services. Parents say whatever decision is made needs to include their input and they need to be kept informed about the program’s future.
“The program itself is great, so when we hear we're going to get rid of Head Start, as a parent it’s really heartbreaking. We’re just anxiously waiting to get more meetings to see what is that proposal that they're going to be working on,” says Jeannette Solis, mother of 5 kids who’ve gone through Head Start.
There are more than 500 local kids in Rockford’s Head Start and Early Head Start programs.