Headstart Prepared To Help, Needs More Kids

Even with an “awesome” deal for low-income parents, the federally funded Head-start site at Waimanalo Elementary School is in dire need of more little kids.

Assistant teacher Cheryl Burgo reports the program for qualified, low-income working parents, called Waimanalo Pre-Plus, has 12 children ages 3-4 enrolled now, but it needs at least 20 in order to stay open. And the clock is ticking: “Crunch time is Sept. 30,” Burgo said.

Pre-Plus operates from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays in a portable classroom and is run like a preschool under the umbrella of Honolulu Community Action Program. Burgo said children have free meals from the school cafeteria, snacks, two field trips a year, and they can take advantage of a library learning program on campus. The goal is to prepare them for kindergarten.

Working parents pay monthly, but rates and hours can vary, she said, and financial help is available.

“Headstart opened in the 1960s to help working moms,” noted Burgo. The current site opened in 2002 as Hawaii’s sixth Pre-Plus.

For details about enrollment, call HCAP at 847-2400 or the site at 259-7574.