June 12, 2012
Today, the Senate Appropriations Committee began consideration of legislation to fund the Office of Head Start in Fiscal Year 2013. The initial draft of the legislation, considered by the Labor, HHS & Education Subcommittee, includes $8.038 billion for Head Start and Early Head Start. This $70 million increase over Fiscal Year 2012ensures that the nearly one million vulnerable children and families currently enrolled in Head Start are able to continue accessing critical early learning services. We will send out specific details about the increase when they are released - probably later this week.
In these tight budgetary times, this proposed funding level represents a commitment to the critical shared goal of offering our neediest children access to quality early education, health and support services. I want to thank each of you personally for the work you have done in the past few months to ensure that our elected officials understand the importance of our work and its impact on our local communities.
Though this is a small step forward in a long budget process, one that is unlikely to be wrapped up until the end of the year, we are greatly encouraged and heartened by this development. That said, we will continue to push for as high a funding increase as possible to ensure Head Start programs can adequately address the rising costs they are facing. We will do our best to keep you updated over the next few days as the full Committee considers the legislation, as well as next steps as we face the same process in the House of Representatives.