Head Start is one the nation's oldest early childhood education programs. It is a national program that provides funding directly from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to local providers. This local control focus has allowed the program to place a heavy emphasis on local and parental involvement. Head Start serves nearly 1 million children and their families annually. Throughout Head Start's bipartisan history, dating back to 1965, the program has taken a comprehensive approach, recognizing that a child will not be ready to learn unless that child's needs are met. To that end, the program directly involves the family in addressing those needs, linking them to health, nutrition, mental health, and other services.
In 2006, Congress will continue its efforts to reauthorize Head Start. Although proposals that would drastically change Head Start and convert it to a state block grant have been set aside, many important issues are still being debated.
For more information, contact John Sciamanna, CWLA Co-Director of Government Affairs, at 703/412-3161 or email@example.com.
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