Head Start, the early education program geared towards low-income families, has received its largest revision since 1975. The changes, put forward by the Obama administration, removes burdensome education requirements, increases the program to a full day and improves services for children with disabilities and students that don’t speak English.
Changes to Head Start were inspired by recent reports supporting the positive effects of early childhood education. Strong early childhood education and students that have participated in the Head Start program have higher test scores, higher attendance rates and are more likely to graduate high school, go to college and receive a post-secondary degree.
The current budget for the program is $294 million, with an additional $292 million proposed in the fiscal 2017 budget. A bulk of the funding is going towards increasing childcare to a full day, which will be phased in over the next five years.
Since it’s inception in 1965, Head Start has helped over 33 million children and currently enrolls more than one million children every year.
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