Currently there are 7 Head Start programs in Vermont - serving a little under 14-hundred children. Head Start includes pre-school, education for parents and nutritional programs. Senator Sanders says since 2002 - the federal goverment has cut funding by 11 percent. He is supporting a bill that would increase funding by over 6 percent. It's already cleared one committee -- and advocates say the money would help them serve more children. Currently there are waiting lists to get into Head Start programs.
Marianne Miller/Head Start: "I would love to add more children - children don't get a second chance - if we don't serve them now - we don't get a second chance to come around and serve them again. At least not at a preventive level."
Sen Sanders: "So the areas we are going to work on very hard is Head Start funding to make sure that all over this country and the state of Vermont people who are eligible for the funding are indeed able to find slots."
Senator Sanders says the Head Start bill should be up for debate in the full Senate soon - and he's optimistic it will pass.