From the National Head Start Association, February 19, 2020
Day in and day out, in nearly every U.S. community, the nation’s 1,600 Head Start programs tirelessly serve children from at-risk backgrounds ages birth to five and their families with a comprehensive model specifically designed to strengthen families, promote school readiness, and improve child health.
Head Start programs are heralded for their outcomes by researchers, praised by families, and widely-supported in their communities. Yet, traditionally, few governors and state policymakers have invested state funding directly in community-based Head Start programs — a tactic that would enable Head Start to reach more young children in need and fill service gaps.
The good news is that state funding for Head Start is expanding — and for good reason. This trend is the subject of “More Important Than Ever: State Investments in Head Start and Early Head Start to Support At-Risk Children and Families,” a new analysis by the National Head Start Association and Voices for Healthy Kids, an initiative of the American Heart Association with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).