Head Start to lose building, looking for new preschool facility


The Republic County Head Start will have a new home next year, although that location is not yet decided. The lease for the free pre-school, located in Belleville on L Street just south of the post office, ends at the end of June 2017 and will not be renewed.

Senior director Lisa Stonehouse said she is looking for a new building to lease or purchase, and she has a few locations in mind. She said she didn’t want to announce those locations until she knows whether the pre-school will have to purchase or lease a space. She said the new location does not have to remain in Belleville. Stonehouse said she has applied for a grant that would be used to purchase and re-model a building, but she won’t know if she received the grant until Dec. 1.

“I’m anxious to hear back so we can move on,” she said. “We’re kind of in limbo right now.”

If Republic County Head Start does not receive the grant, they will have to lease a building, she said, and she is having difficulty finding one. She also applied for another grant that would allow the local Head Start to expand the school day from the current 3.5 hours to 7 hours.

“Research shows the longer the day – the more the kids are in school – the more school ready they are,” she said. Republic County Head Start, which accepts primarily low-income children throughout the county, has 13 children right now; the maximum capacity is 15. There are six staff.

Stonehouse said the focus of Head Start is to prepare children for school. “As long as my community needs [Head Start] we’ll fight to stay,” she said.

For more information visit – https://www.ksheadstart.org/locations