Congress Provides Relief to those Impacted by COVID-19

March 10, 2021

WASHINGTON, DC – NHSA applauds the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP), which includes $1 billion for Head Start and Early Head Start, among many other key provisions to address the devastating impact of COVID-19. The additional funding for Head Start will provide essential support for local programs’ continued delivery of safe, high-quality services to at-risk children and their families.

NHSA Executive Director Yasmina Vinci applauded the passage of the ARP, including provisions affecting unemployment, health coverage, refundable tax credits, and student loans, which aim to address the needs of those living in poverty as the country recovers from the pandemic.

“As a proven tool in the fight against intergenerational poverty, the Head Start community appreciates Congress’ comprehensive approach to recovery from the pandemic,” NHSA Executive Director Yasmina Vinci said. “During this pandemic, Head Start has continually adapted to meet the needs of our nation’s most vulnerable children and families impacted by COVID-19.”

“We thank Head Start’s congressional champions for standing up to ensure that these funds were included to support children, families, and the programs that work with them every day. This very week, the Head Start community is gathering virtually to celebrate the many congressional champions who have stood up for Head Start during this historically difficult year—including Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Representatives Dina Titus (D-NV), John Katko (R-NY), Joe Neguse (D-CO), Steve Stivers (R-OH), James Clyburn (D-SC) and Bobby Scott (D-VA)—who are this year’s recipients of NHSA’s PROMISE Award. This bipartisan group of members in particular, and Congress as a whole, has stood by Head Start just as Head Start has stood by our children and families, and we thank them for this critical investment in our future.”

In addition to Head Start funding, the legislation includes critical funding to support the stabilization of the child care sector, stimulus checks, and renewed federal unemployment benefits—all resources that provide much-needed support to families impacted by COVID-19, especially those with young children and especially those living in poverty.

The National Head Start Association is a not-for-profit organization committed to the belief that every child, regardless of circumstances at birth, has the ability to succeed in school and in life. The opportunities offered by Head Start lead to healthier, empowered children and families, and stronger, more vibrant communities. NHSA is the voice for more than 1 million children, 270,000 staff, and 1,600 Head Start grantees in the United States. Follow @NatlHeadStart for more information.

Emily Wagner, Communications Director