Yesterday the Early Education Initiative issued a new report by Maggie Severns, “Reforming Head Start.” In addition to this issue brief on Head Start “recompetition,” readers can also access our new Head Start background and analysis page, which was released in September as part of our pre-K expansion of the Federal Education Budget Project. The purpose of the background page is to provide a starting place for policymakers, educators and parents to understand this sprawling, $6.43 billion pre-K program serving nearly 900,000 children ages 3 to 5.
Source: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Congressional Justifications, Fiscal Years 2002-2012
NOTE: The above graph does not include Early Head Start, which is for infants and toddlers up to age 3, and their mothers. Early Head Start was funded at about $1.3 billion in FY12.
The background page explains how Head Start is designed and who benefits from the program; for example, the median income of Head Start families is $22,714. The page also tackles some new reforms of Head Start beyond recompetition, such as changes in teacher credentialing to require, by 2013, that half of all Head Start educators have at least a bachelor’s degree or experience in teaching preschool-aged children.
The Head Start background page is one of a group of new explanatory pages on education programs, including overviews of state pre-K funding, federal special education funding for preschoolers and Title I funding. We continually update these pages and strive to make them the best resources on the web about federal education policy.
UPDATE 12/12/12 at 5:49 pm: Added information on Early Head Start to clarify that the funding chart above is for the pre-K program for 3- to 5-year old children and does not include Early Head Start.