Dear member of Congress,
Head Start means success for low-income children and their families, a level playing field when they enter kindergarten, and readiness throughout their school years and later in life. In fact, studies show that Head Start students are more likely to complete high school, attend college, and even have better health and economic outcomes. They are also less likely to have been charged with a crime or become a teenage parent.
Investments in Head Start support our littlest learners, parents, and our economy. Head Start gives otherwise disadvantaged children the ability to learn and thrive in a structured environment. Over one million young children are served by Head Start every year in urban, suburban, and rural communities throughout the country. Head Start and Early Head Start serve a diverse group of children and families—38% are Hispanic/Latino, 29% are Black, 43% are white, and 2% are Asian. This program promotes school readiness and health for low-income students, helps break the cycle of poverty, and provides family well-being by supporting parents and families in their own goals such as job training, housing stability and continued education. Knowing their children are learning and thriving in a nurturing and safe environment allows Head Start parents to return to work, move up the economic ladder, and contribute to our local economies.
Right now, only 31% of income eligible three and four year old children are being reached by Head Start nationally. It is even lower for Early Head Start where only 6% of eligible infants and toddlers are being served by the program. In order to build on the success Head Start has achieved for the past fifty-two years, our elected leaders need to invest in this program in order to guarantee that all eligible children have access to early learning opportunities that will help them learn and grow into successful adults.
Federal investments in Head Start are widely supported by your constituents. In fact, a 2016 poll by the First Five Years Fund found that 90% of voters (both Republicans and Democrats) agree that our elected leaders should work together to make quality early childhood education, including Head Start, more accessible and affordable to low- and middle-income families.
Join me in supporting our littlest learners, their families, and our economy by supporting Head Start!