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Press Release January 14, 2010


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

JANUARY 14, 2010

 

NATIONAL HEAD START ASSOCIATION REMAINS COMMITTED TO IMPROVEMENT IN LIGHT OF NEW STUDY

Long-Term Studies Continue to Reach Same Conclusion: Head Start Works

 

WASHINGTON, D.C.-The National Head Start Association stands ready to partner with the Obama Administration and others as they announce plans to strengthen Head Start and Early Head Start programs following new research.  The research conclusions are a mixed bag. This study demonstrates that Head Start programs are of good or better quality and finds favorable cognitive, socio-emotional, and health impacts for children who attended Head Start and positive impacts on parenting practices. Yet the study indicates that many of the early gains made in Head Start prior to kindergarten might be lost at the end of first grade.

NHSA, which is dedicated to meeting the needs of Head Start children and their families, will work to reconcile this new research with previous landmark studies that demonstrate the significant educational and health gains experienced by low-income children served by Head Start. Those long-term studies found that Head Start has decreased criminal activity, child mortality rates, high school drop out rates, the need for special education, the need for children to repeat grades later on in school and increased child achievement test scores, high school graduation rates, and immunization rates.

Head Start has a 45-year history of continuous improvement. This study was conducted from 2002 to 2006. Two years ago, Head Start reauthorization included many significant improvements to the program which are currently in the process of implementation.

"We look forward to working with others to use this and other studies to further improve Head Start for the benefit of children, their families and the future of all Americans," said NHSA executive director Yasmina Vinci.

 "We will work with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' upcoming research advisory committee so we all can learn from this study and others that encompass the program's impact on hundreds of thousands of lives," she said.

 

ABOUT NHSA

The National Head Start Association (http://www.nhsa.org) is a private not-for-profit membership organization dedicated to meeting the needs of Head Start children and their families. It represents more than one million children, 200,000 staff and 2,600 Head Start programs in the United States. The Association provides support for the entire Head Start community by advocating for policies that strengthen services to Head Start children and their families; by providing extensive training and professional development to Head Start staff; and by developing and disseminating research, information, and resources that enrich Head Start program delivery.

CONTACT:  Yasmina Vinci, (703) 649-4222 or yvinci@nhsa.org.

 

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