Children with disabilities have their place guaranteed in Head Start
By The Star Staff
Family Secretary Carmen Ana González Magaz, along with Roberto Pagán, who heads the Administration for the Care and Development of Children, recently met with Gabriel Corchado Méndez, director of the Office of the Advocate for People with Disabilities (DPI by its Spanish initials), to sign a collaborative agreement between the agencies to offer services to infants and children participating in Head Start programs in Puerto Rico.
“We thank Secretary Carmen Ana González Magaz and Administrator Roberto Pagán for this opportunity to expand our services to the disabled population. For years, and by federal regulation, 10% of Head Start spaces have been reserved for children and infants with disabilities,” Corchado Méndez said. “This is a window of opportunity that all families should know about and be part of the process.”
González Magaz noted that the agreement would deepen communication and collaboration between Head Start, Early Head Start, and the Advocate’s office.
“We are fully committed to identifying areas of common interest, where activities, orientations, and meetings can be developed on topics that benefit the population of people with disabilities and their families,” she said.
Pagán noted that the Head Start/Early Head Start Services to Children with Disabilities Interagency Collaboration Committee will establish a work plan with DPI.
“This Work Plan will be an integral part of the Collaborative Agreement,” he said. “It will serve as an example for the Head Start/Early Head Start Regional Work Plans.”
Susana Pagán, president of the Head Start Directors Association of Puerto Rico, added that “this agreement is excellent because it emphasizes services and honoring children’s rights.”
The entity is made up of 42 directors of Head Start centers throughout Puerto Rico.