Project Head Start is a federally sponsored preschool program originally designed to enable low-income and poor children to adapt better to traditional schooling and to help the children and their families achieve economic self-sufficiency over time. Head Start was formally initiated in the summer of 1965 and today is considered the first credible exemplar of the field of child development and social policy. While social policies and programs such as Head Start can impact individual growth and development, historical cohorts or groups of individuals across time can impact and influence social and public policies. Between 1965 and 2015, the Head Start program has been impacted by demographic changes related to the composition of America’s eligible children. This entry presents background on the Head Start program, ...

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