Liberty County Head Start moves into new location

Published: Aug. 24, 2022 at 1:54 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 24, 2022 at 4:11 PM EDT
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RICEBORO, Ga. (WTOC) - A large childcare provider in Liberty County reached a huge milestone Wednesday.

The head start program through the Coastal Georgia Area Community Action Authority now has a permanent home. It’s in Riceboro, just off of Highway 17.

It was an important and exciting morning for parents in Liberty County, as they got to drop off their children at Liberty County Head Start’s new, permanent location.

Children under 5 stepped off the bus and said goodbye to their parents before entering their first day of early learning in a brand new building.

“I cannot contain our excitement, we are elated. We waited for a while. The parents are excited. The community has supported us through these years, because we’ve been waiting a while,” Liberty Head Starts Center Supervisor Teddra Jakes said.

The facility serves children ages 6 weeks to five years. It’s funded through federal grants and provides early education to qualifying families at no cost. Parents say this program is already making a big difference.

“Childcare can be very expensive. They can come in as young as two years old to do head start.. and I think that’s awesome. It’s free. That helps the community a lot,” Parent Regina Brown Betts said.

And the students say it’s giving them something to look forward to.

“I’m excited to have new friends,” Student Annalise Betts said.

This facility now serves about 60 new friends, to be exact. The program has existed in Liberty County for decades, but has moved around numerous times adding to the significance of this new building.

“It’s like going out, it’s almost like renting someone else’s car, you finally get your own car, and get a chance to drive it,” Liberty Co. Commissioner Marion Stevens said.

The building expands the program’s capacity by four classrooms with the ability to serve more than 100 kids. Jakes says the organization has a focus on helping families holistically.

“Sometimes, you bring us in with your kid needing an education, but you need a job. We can help. Maybe you bring your kid in and you live with your mom, and you can’t feed her in the summer, well we have meals on wheels, we can help there too.”

This serving as the first day of the future of Liberty County Head Start.

Staff members with the school say there’s still room for more students, if you’d like to enroll your child here at the head start program.