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St. Mary's County Public Schools' Relinquishment of the Head Start Grant/Eligible Students to be Served Through Pre-Kindergarten


SMCPS Press Release
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Monday, March 6, 2023

Dr. J. Scott Smith, Superintendent of Schools, 301-475-5511, ext. 32178
Dr. Maureen Montgomery, Deputy Superintendent of Schools, 301-475-5511, ext. 32135

LEONARDTOWN, MD –   St. Mary’s County Public Schools’ (SMCPS) has notified the Office of Head Start Region III that we will be relinquishing the grant at the end of the 2022-2023 school year. While the SMCPS Head Start is a program in good standing, the new Blueprint for Maryland’s Future requires full-day Pre-Kindergarten for income-eligible children. Four-year-old children who would be income eligible for Head Start will be entitled to Pre-Kindergarten service through the public school system.

The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future requires mixed delivery service to three- and four-year-old income-eligible children but allows for school systems to prioritize four-year-old programming with full-day Pre-Kindergarten implementation. Mixed delivery includes private childcare providers who are deemed eligible by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). 

SMCPS has chosen to prioritize Pre-Kindergarten for four-year-old students. Consequently, no three-year-old classes will be in the school system for the 2023-2024 school year.

At the present time, there are no eligible private providers included in the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future plan in St. Mary’s County; however, we are optimistic that several providers are exploring participation options with the school system’s support. The Office of Head Start Region III has been encouraged to pursue inclusion as a private provider serving three-year-old children with an offer from SMCPS to support and partner with them. 

The SMCPS’ Judy Center Early Learning Hubs, the Promise Resource Center, the local management Early Childhood Action Committee, and the Department of Social Services will work to support families with income-eligible three-year-old children and facilitate connections with them to high-quality childcare.

Families who need additional assistance may contact the SMCPS Early Childhood HELPLINE at (301)-475-5511, ext. 32161.





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Contact Information

23160 Moakley Street, 
Leonardtown, MD 20650