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National Head Start Fact Sheet
Head Start by the Numbers

This page presents national data for Head Start in 2016-2017. How does this break down state by state?

Access to Head Start in the United States of America

 

Total Funded Head Start (HS) Slots: 732,711

Total Funded Early Head Start (EHS) Slots: 154,352

 

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31% of eligible children ages 3 - 5 had access to HS.

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7% of eligible children under 3 had access to EHS.

 


 

The United States' Head Start Workforce

 

There are 239,567 Head Start and Early Head Start jobs in the U.S.

The average Head Start teacher with a bachelor’s degree in the U.S. makes only $33,373 per year.


 

26,109

children in foster care
were served by
Head Start

14,798

children with veteran/active military parents were served by Head Start

47,714

children experiencing homelessness were served by Head Start

 

“My family included a single mom and six siblings. Only the two youngest, my sister and I, attended Head Start. The four oldest have either been incarcerated, struggled with drug addiction, had trouble maintaining a job, or passed away. My sister is a successful court reporter. I have served as a military officer, state agency head, and speaker for the State Department. What was the discriminating factor? I contend it was Head Start.”

- Chuck Mills, Former Marine One co-pilot

 

In the United States...

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404,950

families participated
in health education

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1,021,102

children had continuously accessible health care

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944,808

children had continuous access to dental care

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15,290

pregnant women were served by Head Start

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132,869

children with disabilities
were served by Head Start  

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128,804

parents advanced their
education level

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67,348

families received job training

Head Start's Impact:

The Head Start Advantage

Children who participate in Head Start programs receive innumerable benefits. These advantages appear immediately, last a lifetime, and even have an effect on other generations.


 

38%

Head Start children reduce their vocabulary deficit by 38% during the program year.


 

31%

Head Start children are 31% less likely to have been held back a grade.


 

19%

Head Start children are 19% less likely to smoke as adults.


 

13%

High quality birth-to-five programs, like the combination of EHS and HS, pay off 13% per year.

 


National Fact Sheets

National Fact Sheet

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

 

State-by-State Fact Sheets

 

Access the state-by-state fact sheets.