Knowledge Center

National Head Start Fact Sheet

Head Start by the Numbers

This page presents national data for Head Start in 2018-2019. How does this break down state by state?

Access to Head Start in the United States of America


Total Funded Head Start (HS) Slots: 652,422

Total Funded Early Head Start (EHS) Slots: 163,126


36% of eligible children ages 3 - 5 had access to HS.

11% of eligible children under 3 had access to EHS.



The United States' Head Start Workforce


There are 272,900 Head Start and Early Head Start jobs in the U.S.




“My husband lost his job and we were evicted from our home. It is incredibly stressful to be homeless with an infant, but because of Early Head Start we were able to keep the stress away from our son. We worked at getting back on our feet—my husband took a job as a dishwasher and I worked as a secretary, which we could do knowing our son was receiving excellent care. Our son is doing great in all areas and learning social/emotional skills.”

- Erin Martino, New York

In the United States...



fathers participated in program governance



parents participated in job training



home visits were conducted

Long-Term Impact

Head Start participants are 12% less likely to live in poverty as adults and 29% less likely to receive public assistance.

"Evidence suggests Head Start not only helps kids develop and allows parents to go to work, but it may also help at-risk kids from ending up in the foster care system."

Head Start parents have steeper increases in their educational attainment by the time their children are six years old.



children received a behavioral health treatment plan