Gwen Barstad teaches a Head Start classroom in Gillette. Her school serves almost 70 children from low income families.
"We take children who may not be able to have a preschool experience if we didn't have them here and then they'd go into the school district without any socialization, without any academic beginning," said Barstad.
But Head Start services everywhere saw federal sequester cuts go into effect this week.
"It resulted in about a $70,000 decrease to this community," said Mary Kugler, assistant director at Wyoming Child and Family Development, which oversees Head Start programs in eight Wyoming counties, including Campbell County.
These cuts affect how teachers like Barstad run their classrooms.
"The staff hours were cut, so I lost both of my paraprofessionals and so we had to rehire new staff this year who could work for less hours," said Barstad.
Parents usually can bring their kids in throughout the entire year, but sequester cuts force Head Start in Campbell County to only a nine month program.
"So it will really affect those families and what they can do for work or schooling for themselves once the summer months come along," said Barstad.
And they fear more cuts may be on the way, but with no way of knowing for sure, all they can do is wait.
"We are sort of holding our breath hoping that it does not impact us again this year," said Kugler.
"If there's more cuts, we will have to cut children. Also getting quality staff will be tough when we can't offer hours, benefits, pay," said Barstad.
Head Start officials would actually like to expand services in Gillette, but can't due to federal cuts. There is a 52 person waiting list for head start in Campbell County.