WASHINGTON, DC – Earlier today, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a FY 2018 funding bill for the Departments of Labor, HHS, Education, and Related Agencies accounts. Head Start and Early Head Start were flat funded from FY 2017. The Senate Committee's action follows July's House Appropriations Committee bill that provided an increase of $22 million for Head Start and Early Head Start in FY 2018.
The following statement should be attributed to Yasmina Vinci, executive director of the National Head Start Association:
“In the face of declining budgets and tough choices, Head Start received flat funding over FY 2017 levels. While we appreciate the committee maintaining current funding levels for Head Start despite overall cuts to the Labor, HHS, Education, and Related Agencies accounts, we are disappointed by today’s news. Given the challenges facing Head Start's workforce and the necessity to meet increased quality standards, flat funding will likely equate to a reduction in access for eligible children and families dependent on Head Start and Early Head Start programs. Head Start programs nationwide are continuously innovating and improving, facing more demands for services, and producing verifiable results and better outcomes. In the days ahead, we look forward to addressing with Congress the very real challenges that are ahead of us.”