WASHINGTON, DC – The National Head Start Association (NHSA) resoundingly applauds Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) for the proposed increases in federal funding for Head Start in the draft Fiscal Year 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill released yesterday. The draft legislation closely mirrors the House-approved spending plan and reflects NHSAs topline priorities—workforce compensation, quality improvement funding for trauma-informed care, and extended duration.
“This is the future America’s children and families need and deserve,” said NHSA Executive Director Yasmina Vinci. “We are deeply thankful to Chairman Leahy and Subcommittee Chairwoman Murray for advancing this spending plan. The past 18 months have exposed the fragility of our system of early education and access to reliable care for our nation’s youngest. This historic investment delivers huge dividends for program staff who have been spread thin, financially and emotionally, for far too long and for parents desperate for more hours of quality instruction, whole child care, and support.”
Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, the lack of available and affordable early education and child care options meant that millions of Americans—especially women of color—were forced to take unpaid leave to care for their children. The ability of families to find child care is essential to working parents with young children and the economy.
While this year’s appropriation process isn’t likely to move forward until the reconciliation debates resolve, NHSA remains hopeful that Congress will act before December 3, when the current Continuing Resolution expires.
“There is so much promise and opportunity in this year’s appropriations process. We hope Congress will do everything in its power to move this critical funding legislation forward,” said NHSA Director of Government Affairs Bob Bissen. “The alternative is a full-year continuing resolution, which will lock in outdated spending priorities and slow the progress our country’s most at-risk children and their families are making toward brighter futures.”
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