National Head Start Association


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Statement on Follow-up Analysis to Head Start Impact Study

    Media Contact: Sally Aman
December 21, 2012     202-262-8003




National Head Start Association Statement

OMB Follow-up Analysis to the Head Start Impact Study

Washington, D.C. – Today, the United States Department of Health and Human Services issued further follow-up with the third grade results for the Head Start cohort whose first grade results were published in the Head Start Impact Study released in 2010. The following statement should be attributed to Yasmina Vinci, executive director of the National Head Start Association:

“What the Impact Study clearly shows is that Head Start does its job—it gets at-risk children ready for Kindergarten in every aspect that the Study measured. However, it is particularly troubling that the benefits of Kindergarten readiness seem to flatten out from Kindergarten through third grade. Our work with students ends when children graduate from Head Start, but it is clear that for many, their circumstances continue to hinder their success; circumstances including, but not limited to, the quality of their primary and secondary education. Head Start children, like all children, benefit greatly from attending high-performing schools.

The causes of the “flattening out effect” between Kindergarten and third grade are not clear. But, it is clear from hundreds of studies over four decades, that desired long-term effects on life—such as lowered need for special education, better health and wellness as teens and adults, higher high school and college graduation rates, and greater participation of parents in their child’s education—are real and strong among Head Start participants.

The bottom line is—Head Start works. The Head Start community is fully committed to improving the quality of Head Start programs, through both high standards and relentless insistence on excellence. There are challenges ahead for all of us serving at-risk students from birth to age eight, but together we can ensure that the gains realized by Head Start are sustained in every grade.”

Additional information about the National Head Start Association can be found at

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