WASHINGTON, DC – The National Head Start Association applauded President Biden’s fiscal year 2022 (FY22) budget proposal which increases funding for Head Start and Early Head Start by $1.2 billion for a total $11.9 billion. More broadly, the President’s proposal amounts to a 16% increase in discretionary funding, which also includes notable increases in a number of areas affecting Head Start programs and families: the Child Care and Development Block Grant (+$1.5 billion), Preschool Development Grants ($450 million total funding), WIC, housing supports, and Pell Grants.
“As the President stated, more than ever we need bold ‘investments in working families who drive growth and prosperity,’ and there is no better program to deliver on that investment than Head Start,” NHSA Executive Director Yasmina Vinci said. “The Head Start community is encouraged that this high level of funding acknowledges the critical role Head Start plays in supporting families’ trajectories out of poverty and makes a marked commitment to expanding access to Head Start.”
“We look forward to working with the Biden Administration in furtherance of his goal to expand access through the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships and to elevate other urgent needs that exist across the Head Start community. In working with our republican and democratic champions in Congress, we will continue our efforts to address Head Start’s growing workforce crisis, fully support children who have experienced trauma, and increase access to Head Start and Early Head Start.”
Head Start serves only 36% of income-eligible three and four year olds, and Early Head Start serves only 11% of income-eligible infants and toddlers. For more than five decades, Head Start has partnered with families and communities to provide education, health, and nutrition services to at-risk children, as well as parenting and employment support to their parents.
Numerous recent reports and studies demonstrate Head Start’s effectiveness in supporting children and families on their paths to success in school and life. By involving the whole family in a child’s education and development through an emphasis on parent engagement, Head Start strengthens families and local communities. For more information on Head Start and Early Head Start in fiscal year 2022, read our budget proposal recommendations here.
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