WASHINGTON, DC – After months of discussion and negotiation, NHSA applauds the House of Representatives for passage of the Build Back Better Act earlier today. The bill makes several critical investments in our nation’s youngest children including in Universal Pre-K and affordable, high-quality child care building off of the successes of Head Start and Early Head Start.
“When our nationwide approach to supporting children is aligned to meet the urgent needs of families, communities, and businesses, everyone benefits,” said NHSA Executive Director Yasmina Vinci. “This legislation ensures preschool programs nationwide can meet high demand with high-quality. Most importantly, it secures access to preschool for 9 million more children. At the same time, it contributes to increased parental—and, in particular maternal—employment, a better compensated workforce, and—as a result—a stronger economy.”
The legislation acknowledges workforce challenges by providing for increased compensation, specifically delineating $2.5 billion per year for six years for the Head Start workforce.
“Like the broader early childhood community, Head Start is experiencing severe workforce issues this year,” Vinci added. “Swift and efficient distribution of these additional funds will be critical to stabilizing the staffing crisis currently facing Head Start and early childhood education programs everywhere.”
NHSA is encouraged by the Build Back Better House forward movement. This advancement is one step closer to a transformational effort to support America’s youngest learners, their families, and the workforce that make it all possible.
The National Head Start Association is 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