'Head Start' Facing Big Cuts During Government Shutdown

The impacts of the potential government shut down will effect thousands of residents in El Paso County, including more than 1,100 students enrolled in the Head Start program.

About 75 percent of Head Start operations are federally funded. The current federal grant expires on Tuesday and if the shut down occurs, that grant will not be renewed for next year.

The Head Start program helps low income students gain access to developmental services to prepare them for school.

The El Paso County chapter usually gets $10 million a year in federal funding, which they won't have for the next year if the shut down happens.

"We can probably continue to operate for a week or two but after that we would have to shut down our Head Start and Early Head Start classrooms for those 1,100 children and families and furlough our 320 staff members," said Noreen Landis-Tyson, the President of Community Partnership for Child Development.

The next federal grant for the local Head Start program is scheduled for November 1.

Landis-Tyson told 11 News that if the shut down is not over by then, the program will not have the funds to continue for next year.

The shut down was also expected to put a hold on military members' pay checks. A bill passed on Monday guaranteed that would not happen.

National Parks and passport offices would close and applications for government-insured mortgages, small business loans and gun permits would be placed on hold.

Fort Carson also told 11 News their plans if the government shuts down.

The Mountain Post would have reduced staffing and operations would be at minimal levels.

Current military members would still work but civilian Department of Defense personnel would have to go on an unpaid furlough, unless they work in necessary activities like the military police, fire department or hospitals.