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Grant boosts infant and early childhood services

A federal grant of more than $1.2 million to Pennsylvania will go toward working for better health, well-being and long-term outcomes for pregnant and parenting families of young children.

The funding was awarded by the Health Resources and Services Administration of the federal Department of Health and Human Services, and will help DHS’ Office of Child Development and Early Learning connect families to a continuum of services including Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting and Early Intervention programs, the Children’s Health Insurance Program and other programs overseen by other state departments.

Starting this month, the Office of Childhood Development and Early Learning with receive $255,600 a year for five years, totaling almost $1.28 million.

The office will use the money to hire an Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems program leader and a family leader.

“Young families need to be able get the important help and services that they need for their children at all times, but it is especially critical during the prenatal to 3-year-old period of child development,” Acting Department of Human Services Secretary Meg Snead said in a release. “But far too many families are unaware of all of the services and supports that exist … . With this funding, we will be able to build a comprehensive system of care that will ensure accessible, appropriate and effective care to these young families.”

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