Head Start Programs

Head Start is the U.S. federal government’s oldest and central program for preschool-age children and their families living in poverty. The program, authorized by the Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007, has been in existence since 1965. The program is federally funded, with direct grants to communities. It is managed by the Office of Head Start, which is part of the Administration for Children and Families in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Head Start programs exist in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and six territories.

During the 2013–2014 school year, approximately 1,076,000 children and families were enrolled at a cost of almost $8.6 billion. In 2013–2014, Early Head Start, with services for children birth to age 3 years, ...

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