Federal funds restored to children getting a Head Start

It's a day of fun for Braden Welch, a student in Peggy O'Brien's Head Start class of 3- and 4-year-olds.

The end of the government shutdown marks the first day back for thousands of furloughed workers across the country. Now, federally funded programs like Head Start are waiting for their money to return.

"It was getting to the point where it was like, okay, how much longer can we go?" Julie Schuckman, the director for Quincy's Early Childhood said.

The shutdown ended, but not without its consequences. Funding for the school's Head Start Program stopped during the shutdown, leaving administrators with a pile of bills and contingency plans.

"The district has been good in making sure all our bills have been paid until that money can arrive," Schuckman said.

The shutdown also caused concern with the school's current health guidelines.

"One of the things we're working on right now is, every child is required to have a physical," Schuckman said. "We needed some questions answered on the exact procedures for that. Well, nobody was in the office to answer the questions, but we still had to follow those policies and regulations."

Still, classes continued.

"The kids were never affected. We won't let them be. They're just here having fun and learning all in the same and that's just so important," Peggy O'Brien, a Head Start teacher said.

The compromise in Washington means Head Start funds will return, at least for the next few months.

"You're always in the back of your mind wondering, 'where's that money coming from,' but if they would just come visit our program, they would see that it's so very important," O'Brien said.

Quincy's Head Start program gets 60 percent of its funds from the federal government. The rest of its budget comes from the state and the Quincy Public School district.