Head Start soon to be under new management - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Head Start soon to be under new management

June 12, 2004

Albany- Federal investigators began reviewing the books at Albany Head Start early this summer, after employees complained about problems with payroll.

"As a result, we began to look into the matter to find that the agency was indeed running or operating with a deficit," said Windy Hill, Associate Commissioner of the Head Start Bureau.

That deficit is more than $500,000. Now that the board has turned over control, a private company hired by the federal government will take over, starting on Friday.

Summer services were still being offered at the Harvey Road site, but not anymore. A letter went home to parents Monday afternoon saying, "We regret to inform you that we will not be able to provide summer services for your children, effective Tuesday, July 13... You will be notified as to when services will resume."

But what federal officials want parents to know is that services will return when school begins and they can count on Head Start to take care of their children. They're even already advertising for new applicants to sign up.

With new management handling this free day care, what about employees? Well, they must reapply for their jobs, but most of them should feel safe.

"Rarely, do we see any changes in the staffing pattern of the Head Start program when this kind of transition takes place," Hill said.

So it should be a smooth transition for employees, while new number crunchers begin looking for rough spots in bookkeeping.

posted at 10:20 p.m. by brannon.stewart@walb.com