East Coast Migrant Head Start Project was established in 1974 through a grant to the Leadership of Christian Women Religious to provide services to migrant farmworkers and their children. Under the leadership of Sister Geraldine O’Brien, Head Start centers were opened along the east coast of the United States to ensure continuity of services as families migrated to work in agriculture. Today, ECMHSP operates 38 centers and serves approximately 3,145 children annually.
We deliver services to children and families pursuant to two models. We directly provide services in twenty-six Head Start centers in the areas of Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. In areas where East Coast Migrant Head Start Project lacks a local presence, we partner with other non-profit corporations, delegate agencies, which deliver services to the same high standards as we do. Roughly two-thirds of the 3,145 children we are funded to serve are taught and cared for through our direct service model and a third are taught and cared for through our delegate agency model.
The majority of our funding is derived from a continuing grant from the United States Department of Health and Human Services. We take our stewardship of these federal funds very seriously. Each year, an external auditor reviews our fiscal policies and audits our financial records to ensure that all costs charged to our federal grant are appropriate and allowable. During a five year cycle, our funding agency does a comprehensive review of our operations-with special attention to our fiscal operations- to make sure we are meeting the needs of the families we are funded to serve. We, of course, welcome the financial support of private donors.