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Sequestration

2013: A Year of Cuts and Courage

Just weeks after President Obama made a national commitment to greater investments in early education in his 2013 State of the Union, Head Start programs faced devastating budget cuts that slammed shut the window of opportunity for 57,265 at-risk children.  Program budgets were cut $405,000,000 nationally and more than 18,000 Head Start staff lost their jobs and suffered pay cuts.

  • 1,342,015 days of service lost to children who remained in programs after the cut
  • 15.7% of programs in a voluntary national survey reported cutting transportation, which limited access for the most at-risk families in some areas
  • 25.5% of programs closed centers in communities that may not have other high-quality early learning options<
  • 46.6% of programs purchased fewer supplies affecting children, families and local economies

In response, NHSA ignited  a national advocacy campaign and organized three special events that showed how cuts impacted local communities and a Rally in Washington, D.C.  These events were incredibly effective in bringing attention to the dire effects of the sequestration cuts.

  • 37,740 letters supporting Head Start were sent to Congress in 2013.
  • 10,769 letters supporting Head Start were sent to the White House in 2013.
  • More than 30,000 mentions of Head Start in the media in 2013.

The only thing worse than allowing sequestration to happen once would be to let it happen again.  In 2015, NHSA will be making sure a permanent fix to sequestration is found.   

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