Lincoln, Neb.-- Fifty-six kids in Lancaster and Saunders Counties will no longer be able to take part in the Head Start program, and more than 372 statewide.
Due to federal budget cuts, the nationwide program aimed at preparing low-income children for kindergarten and beyond is having to cut back.
In Nebraska, that means a more than five percent reduction.
The reduction caused the loss of about $320,000, 56 enrollment spots and eight staff positions.
"It's difficult," Aaron Bowen, the Lancaster/Saunders Counties Head Start Program Director said, "but as a program and as an agency, when you're grant funded, you know that there's always a possibility that funding will get cut or reduced."
Bowen said, at least in Lancaster/Saunders Counties, they won't be kicking kids out of the program.
Instead, as children and families leave the program, they simply won't fill those slots.
Bowen said the eight eliminated staff positions were either teachers or administrative staff.
"Our first thought isn't to complain about oh now we're going to get cut," Bowen said, "how do we make that cut to keep the agency viable but has the least impact on children and families."
Nationwide, Bowen admits Head Start is a polarizing program and topic that some disagree with.
But, he and his staff say they're confident the program has helped all those that passed through it.
In the country, more than 57,000 kids will be cut from the program and 18,000 jobs are potentially in jeopardy.