In the spring of 1965, as part of the War on Poverty, President Johnson's administration launched the Head Start program. The White House ceremony had more than 400 guests and widespread news coverage. Hundreds of thousands of citizens signed up as volunteers, and communities across the country submitted applications to sponsor a program. The eight-week summer program served 561,000 preschool children, and in 1966 it was expanded to a school-year-long program. Since its inception, more than 22 million children and families have enrolled. In 1995, children from birth to three years of age began enrolling in the newly created Early Head Start program.

Defining Head Start

Often mistaken as a Department of Education preschool program, Head Start is actually a comprehensive child development program administered by the ...

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