(Hannibal)—Federal budget cuts have taken a $250,000 bite out of Douglass Community Services Head Start Programs.

Executive Director Dave Dexheimer says 18 staff positions have been eliminated, meaning 77 children will lose services in Head Start or Early Head Start.

The fall enrollment will require a 14 percent drop of currently funded children throughout the eight-county service area.

Marion County will see the loss of eight positions for center-based Early Head Start infants and toddlers in Hannibal.  The Hannibal and Palmyra Head Start Centers will not be making any changes at this time.

In Pike County, the reduction of 40 center based Head Start preschoolers will be partially offset by the introduction of home-based services to 20 of those children.  Early Head Start will reduce enrollment by 8.

Ralls, Monroe and Shelby Counties will not experience any cuts in enrollment at this time.

Lewis County will lose its preschool center-based services, but will receive home based services for 10 children.  Residents can get more information by attending a public meeting at 5 p.m. June 21 at the Lewis County Head Start Center, 114 N. Main in LaGrange.

Macon County and Moberly Head Start will each see a reduction of services for 18 preschool children.

Head Start programs provide a full range of child development services for low-income children ages birth to five.