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Head Start preschool program expanding from half to full days, more staff needed

(Photo Courtesy/Mike Beiermeister) Preschool students in the Head Start program will be attending school full-time next year.

Alpena, Mich. — A local preschool program will be expanding their hours from half days to full days thanks to a grant.

The Northeast Michigan Community Service Agency’s Head Start program will now have full days, but that requires more personnel. Thanks to a federal grant,
NEMCSA is in need of more teachers, classroom aides, bus drivers, and additional administration throughout northeast Michigan.

That’s where outreach & communication coordinator Fran Whitney comes in. She’s putting out the materials and engaging with the community to help produce a full staff for the upcoming school year.

“We’re looking to hire at least 90 people agency wide, so it’s pretty substantial,” said Whitney. “Here, specifically, in the Alpena area, it’s exciting that, I was just talking to our HR Department, and they said that we are hiring a minimum of five, full-time staff.”

Part-time preschool can often cause a headache for parents trying to coordinate schedules. The benefits of a full day and year preschool include greater gains in cognitive and social emotional development. Preschoolers are also better prepared for the next chapter of schooling.

“Head Start is such a wonderful preschool program, and it just really helps and benefits the child, like I said, to get them prepared for the public schools and to get them on their way to becoming successful, productive people in our communities,” said Whitney.

If you want to learn more or are interested in becoming a teacher, classroom aide, bus driver, or working in administration, please visit