Dear member of Congress,
Head Start means setting up children and their families from low-income backgrounds for success in school and life: 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.
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—37% are Hispanic/Latino, 30% are Black, 44% are white, 2% are American Indian/Alaskan Native, and 1% are Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander. Collectively, these programs promote school readiness and health for low-income students, help break the cycle of poverty, boost the economy, and strengthen family well-being by supporting parents and families working to achieve their own goals such as housing or job stability and continued education.
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-four 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 to be ready and successful in school and life.
Federal investments in Head Start are widely supported by your constituents. In fact, a 2018 poll found that 80% of voters (both Republicans and Democrats) agree that our elected leaders should provider greater funding so more families can access Head Start and Early Head Start.