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Head Start program delayed on first day of school

The Community Development Institute Head Start program didn't get off without a hitch in Duval County Monday.  Our partner Action News has learned it didn't get off at all.

"She was upset this morning. She was crying because she's not going to be able to go back to school today," said Layota Barrington.

Barrington says her daughter Rayneshia, 4, was so excited to start school Monday. She's a return student at the Normandy branch of CDI's Head Start program. But as her mother arrived to drop Rayneshia off, she got surprising news.

"When I got there the lady said that she couldn't go there and I asked why and (she said) because school won't start until September the 3," she said.

Barrington said it's déjà vu. She and dozens of other parents went through this last year after the Urban League handed Head Start over to CDI then shut it down for a short time because of teacher certification issues. Barrington thought those problems were history.

"I work and this is a big inconvenience for me because I have nobody to watch her. Yes, I work but I can't afford daycare; that's the whole point of putting her in school," she said.

The most frustrating part is that she said she wasn't notified and had no idea the program wasn't starting on time.

Action News reached out to our CDI local office, which directed us to the office of public affairs within the federal government. We were told Head Start classes will begin Labor Day week, and that letters were sent to parents. Another letter for is to go out to parents this week.

Barrington said she never got the first letter and is now scrambling to come up with a game plan for the next few weeks. She'll have to miss work tomorrow to stay home with her daughter.

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