We've seen the damage the government shutdown is doing to the lives of many Americans this week, whether you're a woman or a worker (or both!). Now the Wall Street Journal confirms that the shutdown has resulted in thousands of low-income kids being prevented from going to preschool because of closed Head Start programs.
Head Start is a program that was started during the Johnson Administration that provides free preschooling for kids under five, as well as other social services. According to the Journal, four programs have been closed, which means over 3,000 students have been out of school in Florida, Connecticut, Alabama and Mississippi. 11 programs will be cut by Friday if the government doesn't get their shit together.
Not only does this mean kids aren't in school doing what they should be doing like building important social skills and getting the opportunity to drink out of juice boxes, but it means that many parents for whom preschool is also day care are in a real bind with what to do with their kids during the day while they're at work (that's a big reason that many public school systems try to avoid closing at all costs instead of just giving out snow days like candy). As it is government-funded, Head Start is just one of the many programs subject to the whims of our leaders, which means that during times when there are shutdowns or sequestration bills, whoomp there goes helping the people who need it most.