head start

head start

President Obama Announces New Improvements for Head Start Program

National Head Start Alphabet Block LogoPresident Obama has been an advocate for improving the quality of education that children in the USA receive for years, and now, he has taken another step in this direction. On Tuesday, he announced some changes that are going to be made to the Head Start program. This program allows children from low-income families to attend preschool.

“This is the first time in history that Head Start programs will truly be held accountable for performance,” Obama said during a speech.

It is somewhat strange that Head Start has not been held accountable to the same standards as otherĀ  education programs, such as No Child Left Behind and other reform efforts. Under the current rules, preschools can continue to receive funding from Head Start even if they are not revising and improving their programs.

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Thousands Wait-Listed for Head Start

national-head-startHead Start is a federally-funded program that gives low-income families the oppertunity to enroll their children in free pre-kindergarten programs. Students who attend pre-K classes are shown to benefit on many developmental levels and are 35 percent less likely to fail a grade later on in elementary school. Private preschools can cost as much as $10,000 per year.

There are about 49,000 Head Start classrooms across the U.S., but thousands of children are on waiting lists. “My friend’s son got in,” said Lamont Butler, a single father. “At 4, he can already spell his name, do simple math, and he isn’t so shy any more.” But Butler is struggling to get his 3-year-old daughter enrolled. Caring for her makes it difficult for him to find work, and he worries that she’s missing out on the benefits that others are receiving from this early education.

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Head Start Programs Improve Communities and Families

early head startEarly Head Start is a program available nationwide that is federally-funded and community-based. This program is available to low income families who may have infants, toddlers, or women who are currently pregnant.

The main focus of the program is to promote healthy prenatal outcomes for women, enhance development in young children and promote healthy family functioning. Head Start has a long history of providing service to toddlers and infants through parent and child centers, comprehensive child development centers and various other family support efforts.

Early Head Start was designed in 1994 by and advisory committee formed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. The principles of Early Head Start are the foundation of the program.

Here are the nine principles of Early Head Start.

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