The state Legislature later passed a law that will expand West Virginia's public preschool program to provide for full-day preschools in every county.
Head Start shares the same goals as those programs - school readiness through early childhood education - but Head Start serves low-income children exclusively, the same population research shows benefits most from preschool.
"That's why it is really crazy," Williams said. "It has been a hard year."
In West Virginia, nearly a quarter of 4-year-olds are provided preschool through a Head Start program, according to figures from the National Institute for Early Education Research.
Kanawha County's Head Start program has been put under further stress by a grant proposal that is still waiting for approval. It's a hefty grant - worth more than $2 million - and the fate of Kanawha County's Head Start program could depend on it.
Officials are hoping to hear back about that grant by July. Williams is confident it will be approved, but she said the uncertainty of the finances has made planning ahead difficult.
"You write your grants and you know you're hoping to hear something but right now with all the uncertainty with what's going on, a lot of times we don't get the answers as quickly as we would anticipate," she said. "It's been kind of nerve-wracking."
Contact writer Shay Maunz at shay.ma...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4886.
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