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Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

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The nation opened child-care centers in Stigler, Coalgate and Bennington in southeastern Oklahoma this month. Each 5,600-square-foot center includes a Head Start program and day-care facility and each is equipped with a storm shelter, playground and amphitheater. "The tribe is successful at many businesses, but the real reason we have these businesses to make is for our children. We want to be able to fund programs that benefit them, and improve their lives. We also give high priority to programs that serve our senior citizens. There are now 15 tribal Head Start facilities, while day-care centers are also located in the cities of Durant and Talihina. "Young people are truly the destiny of the tribe, said Head Start Director Rebecca Clapp. "The educational success of children is well worth the investment. Funding came primarily from $2,247,900 in Child Care & Development funds with the balance from tribal funds, a tribal news release reported. Tribal day care is for infants from six weeks to children who are 12 with transportation provided to and from school.