SEVCA’s Head Start program provides comprehensive early childhood education and family support at no cost to low-income children and their families in Windsor County, each year serving 80 – 90 children ages 3- to 5-years old at locations in Windsor, White River Junction, Springfield, and Chester. Since 2015, when the lease for its location at the Old Windsor Firehouse was not renewed due to the sale of the building, the Windsor program has been looking for a new home. SEVCA is now excited to announce that it recently purchased the former Masonic Hall at 4 Dunham Avenue in Windsor, VT to serve as a permanent Head Start site. The new Head Start center will open in September 2019, after planned renovations are complete.
The search for a new Head Start site in Windsor was an extended one. After its lease at the former location in Windsor was not renewed, SEVCA determined that purchasing a building was the best option to ensure a permanent location in this community. However, finding a suitable property proved challenging, given program requirements and the high safety standards that a building serving as a preschool needed to meet. The building eventually purchased had to undergo a rigorous assessment process, and it has been undergoing renovations to ensure the space complies with all building codes and applicable Head Start, state and local regulations. SEVCA received a grant from the Department of Health and Human Services, the federal agency that administers Head Start, to cover most of the renovation costs, with a matching contribution from the Vermont Building Communities Grant program.
“We would like to thank numerous people and agencies within the community that have continued to support our Head Start program, including Mt. Ascutney Hospital (Jill Lord and Dr. Mary Binder), the Windsor Resource Center, WIC, and the Windsor Zoning office (Bob Haight and other members),” said Lori Canfield, SEVCA’s Head Start Program Director. “We would also like to thank our realtor, Amy Messina, for helping us find a ‘forever home’ for our Head Start program in Windsor!”
Head Start helps children reach their full potential by providing age-appropriate developmental opportunities, educational and developmental assessments, and health screenings. Head Start supports the entire family, providing parents with the information and support to become effective parents as well as to work toward their own goals that enable them to most effectively support their family’s well-being.
In addition to the Windsor site, a full-day program is available in Springfield (M – F, 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM), and the other Head Start centers in Chester and White River Junction offer a 5-day, 30 hours/week program. Applications are being accepted for all locations at this time.