Skip to main content
National Head Start Fact Sheet
Head Start by the Numbers

This page presents national data for Head Start in 2014-2015. How does this break down state by state?

Children in Poverty and Access to the Head Start Model

Millions of eligible children miss out on Head Start. While Head Start has reached more than 32 million children over its history, each year there are millions of children who miss out on the program's many services. Since 1974, NHSA has worked diligently for policy changes that ensure all at-risk children have access to the Head Start model of support for the whole child, the family, and the community.

In 2014-2015, there were 4,770,452 children in poverty under age five.[1] Of those, only 41% of three and four year olds had access to Head Start. And only 4% of children under three had access to Early Head Start.

Photo Photo


 

Total Funded Enrollment: 941,149

[3]

 

Photo

Head Start
1,592 Grantees and Subgrantees

Photo

Early Head Start
1,039 Grantees and Subgrantees

Photo

Migrant / Seasonal Head Start
50 Grantees and Subgrantees

Photo

American Indian / Alaska Native Head Start
146 Grantees and Subgrantees

Photo

American Indian / Alaska Native Early Head Start
57 Grantees and Subgrantees

315,870

were dual-language learners


132,955

had a disability


42,144

were homeless

 

"Head Start has significant beneficial short-term effects, strong long-term effects and deserves government investment."

- Dr. James J. Heckman, Nobel Laureate and Economist[4]

 

 

Comprehensive and Two-Generation Services

Head Start takes a comprehensive approach to meeting the needs of the whole child and whole family. This two-generation approach supports stability and long-term success for the families who are most at risk. Depending on each family's needs, they receive a wide range of individualized services. In 2015, families participated in:

Photo

123,904

Adult Education

Photo

83,507

Workforce training

Photo

513,022

Parenting classes

Photo

51,311

Dual-language classes

Photo

85,442

Support for homeless families

Photo

170,248

Emergency crisis intervention

 

 

Thanks to Head Start's comprehensive services, by the end of the school year children have received education, health, and nutrition services:

 

Photo

89.1%

were up-to-date on all imunizations

Photo

90.6%

received continuous access to dental care

Photo

96.6%

had access to a stable medical home

Workforce Emergency

Over 72% of Head Start teachers nationally have a BA or advanced degree, but salaries remain dismally low compared to pre-K teachers. The real value of Head Start teacher salaries today is less than in 2007, according to a 2013 report that found Head Start teachers make 58% of the mean salary of the female civilian labor force.[5]

Total Jobs: 229,577

Head Start

$31,242

Average compensation for teachers with a BA


7,238

Teacher turnover


33.2%

% turnover due to salary

Early Head Start

$23,268

Average compensation for teachers with a BA


2,314

Teacher turnover


25.2%

% turnover due to salary

Community-Driven Delivery Options

Based on community assessments and family input, each program identifies the range of program options needed in their area. Last year three and four year olds had access to a wide range of models.

46.8%

Full Day Center-Based


46.3%

Part Day Center-Based


3.6%

Child Care Partnership

2.2%

Home-Based


0.7%

Combination of Home- and Center-Based


0.4%

Locally Designed Variation


State-by-State Fact Sheets

National Fact Sheet
Migrant / Seasonal Head Start Fact Sheet
Tribal / Alaskan Indian / Alaska Native Head Start Fact Sheet

Click the links below to download PDF fact sheets of each state.



Citations

  1. ^ Kids Count Data Book. (2015). Children in poverty by age group. The Annie E. Casey Foundation. Retrieved from http://datacenter.kidscount.org/data
  2. a, b U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2016, February). Fiscal Year 2017 Justification of Estimates for Appropriations Committees. Retrieved from: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/olab/final_cj_2017_print.pdf
  3. ^ U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2015, November ). 2014-2015 Head Start Program Information Report.
  4. ^ Heckman, J. (2015, December). Early Childhood Education: Making Sense of All the Research. Retrieved from http://heckmanequation.org/content/early-childhood-education-making-sense-all-research
  5. ^ Whitebook, M., Phillips, D., & Howes, C. (2014). Worthy work, STILL unlivable wages: The early childhood workforce 25 years after the National Child Care Staffing Study. Berkeley, CA: Center for the Study of Child Care Employment, University of California, Berkeley.

 

Produced by the Center for Policy, Data, and Research
NHSA's Center for Policy, Data, and Research generates new knowledge to lead reform for stronger child and family outcomes. Find out more at these links