PARIS — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will award Community Concepts Inc. a $5 million grant for Head Start and Early Head Start programs in Franklin and Oxford counties.

U.S. Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Angus King, I-Maine, made the announcement Tuesday.

Head Start is a comprehensive program, funded by federal and state dollars, for children from birth to age 5 and expectant families. Its purpose is to nurture future success for children and families by providing education, support and resources.

Community Concepts supervises the Head Start program in both counties, using mostly federal funds with some state money. The organization provides Head Start and Early Head Start services at a dozen or so locations in Franklin and Oxford counties.

“Many families in Franklin and Oxford counties take advantage of great Head Start and Early Head Start programs to help provide their young children with the education and support they need to flourish,” Collins and King wrote in a joint statement. “We are pleased that the Department of Health and Human Services continues to recognize the invaluable role that these services play in the lives of Maine children and their families.”

Community Concept officials have said there have been limited funding increases since 2000. In 2006, Community Concepts received a 1 percent cut. In 2011, it was flat funded and in 2012 it received a 0.72 percent increase.

Last year, federal spending cuts resulted in the closure of a Head Start classroom in Jay and cuts in staff and hours in both counties. A total of 55 slots went unfilled of the approximately 150 children waiting to be enrolled at the time, Community Concepts officials said then. Additionally, some hours were cut along with staff members.

No one at Community Concepts could be reached for comment Tuesday on this year’s grant.

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