U.S. Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy of Winter Park, Fla., announced today that the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is awarding $6.6 million to Orange County to support Head Start centers. Head Start promotes school readiness in children from low-income families up to age five by supporting their development in a comprehensive way.
“As a mother, I know how critical the early part of a child’s life is to his or her long-term development and success, which is why I’m so proud to announce this funding for central Florida families,” said Murphy. “Studies show that strong investments in early childhood education ensure greater opportunities for children, reduce crime and incarceration rates, and strengthen the quality of life for all. I’ll continue to protect Head Start so that all children, regardless of their socio-economic status, have an opportunity to achieve their dreams.”
The Orange County government operates multiple Head Start centers in the Orlando metropolitan area. They are typically based in schools, community centers, or child care centers. At these sites, families can access a wide range of services, including early learning, health care services, and parent-child counseling.
Murphy has made federal support for early childhood development one of her top priorities in Congress. She introduced a bill with Congressman Kevin Yoder, R-Kan., to make child care more affordable for more working families. Their bill, the Promoting Affordable Childcare for Everyone (PACE) Act, would make much-needed improvements to the federal Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit. In addition, Murphy co-authored a bipartisan bill to help infants born addicted to opioids. This initiative, which recently became law as part of a larger legislative package to combat the opioid crisis, establishes a new federal grant program to help states develop effective plans to ensure that drug-addicted babies receive the proper medical care at the hospital and the proper family, community, and health care once they are discharged.
U.S. Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy represents Florida’s Seventh Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, where she serves on the House Armed Services Committee and Small Business Committee. The district includes all of Seminole County and much of northern Orange County, including downtown Orlando, Maitland, Winter Park, and the University of Central Florida. Previously, Murphy was a businesswoman and college instructor who also served as a national security specialist in the Office of the Secretary of Defense where she received numerous awards, including the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service. Murphy lives in Winter Park with her husband and two children.