With the start of a new school year rapidly approaching, many questions remain unanswered regarding the new organization who will be running the Head Start facilities in Cedar County.

Community Development Institute, based in Denver, Colorado, took over Head Start and Early Head Start services for Cedar and five other counties Monday, July 1. West Central Community Action Agency, for many years the previous local Head Start administration, was unceremoniously relieved of its duty without explanation from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the Head Start program nationwide.

Gina Ensor, West Central’s strategic development and communications director, said her group still does not know why they are no longer in charge of Head Start.

A press release from CDI says it has an office in Clinton but attempts to call the number listed result in a recorded message which refers the caller to CDI’s website.

The website, last updated Friday, July 12, only shows the following information regarding Cedar County Head Start sites.

“El Dorado Springs: The start date for summer services for Early Head Start children has not been confirmed. Please check back for updates. Plan to open in the fall as scheduled for Head Start children.

“Stockton: Plan to open in the fall as scheduled.”

The fall start dates are not listed.

At last check, the Stockton Head Start location on east Mo. 32 remains locked, with belongings from West Central still inside, boxed up and presumably waiting to be removed.

Thus, parents who may want to send their children to Head Start this year still do not know when the facility will re-open, if it will remain at the same location, who will work there, how much local control there will be and what services will be offered.

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