WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Head Start Association (NHSA) applauds Rep. Katherine Clark, Rep. Fred Keller, and the 193 other members of the U.S. House of Representatives, both Republicans and Democrats, who reaffirmed their commitment to providing America’s most vulnerable children and families with access to Head Start. These members signed letters of support requesting that congressional appropriators provide robust funding in fiscal year 2023 (FY23).
The FY23 letters from Democrats and Republicans to Chairwoman Rosa DeLaura (D-CT-03) and Ranking Member Tom Cole (R-OK-04) of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies each begin with the identical plea: “We urge you to prioritize funding for Head Start.”
The letter led by Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA-05) focused on the need to invest in retaining a qualified workforce, calling for a realistic cost-of-living adjustment and improved workforce compensation. The letter noted “strong outcomes for children and families receiving Head Start services rely on well-qualified staff, and well-qualified staff should be properly compensated.”
The letter led by Rep. Fred Keller (R-PA-12) highlighted the broader benefits that would be seen from increased Head Start funding. In it, members said: “For every dollar invested in Head Start children and families, the country realizes almost nine dollars in benefits through increased earnings, decreased welfare dependence, and reduced reliance on other social programs.”
The overall success of the campaign sends a strong message to the president and the House Appropriations Committee: Head Start is and must remain a national priority. In the coming weeks, similar FY23 letters will circulate on the Senate side. Then, both committees will write spending bills that will be considered by the full House and Senate, and ultimately be sent to President Biden for his signature.