Preventative health

Head Start


Head Start is a national program which provides comprehensive developmental services for America's low-income, preschool children ages three to five and social services for their families. Approximately 1,400 community-based nonprofit organizations and school systems develop unique and innovative programs to meet specific needs. Grants to conduct Head Start programs are awarded to local public or private, nonprofit agencies. At least 10 percent of the enrollment opportunities in each program must be made available to children with disabilities. In FY 2000, the enrollment in Head Start was approximately 858,000 preschool children from low- income families. Funding for Head Start services totals $6.2 billion in FY 2001. Since its inception in 1965, more than 15.3 million children and families have received services. The Head Start Act Amendments of 1994 established the Early Head Start program, which expands the benefits of early childhood development to low income families with children under three and to pregnant women. Services include quality early education in and out of the home; home visits; parent education, including parent-child activities; comprehensive health services, including services to women before, during, and after pregnancy; nutrition; and case management and peer support groups for parents. Projects must coordinate with local Head Start programs to ensure continuity of services for children and families. In FY 2000, $421 million was appropriated for Early Head Start -- approximately seven percent of the overall Head Start budget. Approximately 45,000 children under the age of three received Early Head Start services.

  • 12/8/2013
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