NHSA Applauds White House Executive Order; Looks to Congress to Move Country Forward

Washington, D.C. — NHSA applauds President Biden for signing an executive order this afternoon directing federal agencies to marshal all possible resources available to improve access to high-quality, affordable early learning and child care, while increasing pay for those who provide it.

“We are deeply appreciative to see President Biden doubling-down on the vision laid out in his FY24 budget proposal, which aims to simultaneously stabilize the Head Start workforce and increase access for working parents and caregivers,” said NHSA Executive Director Yasmina Vinci. “It is commendable that the President is doing everything in his power to ensure the stability and ability of Head Start programs to continue providing high-quality services to our nation’s families and we now look to the 118th Congress to do everything in their power to move this vision forward.”

This year’s budget proposal from the President’s desk increases funding for Head Start programs by over 9% for a total of $13.1 billion. Included in the proposed increase is funding dedicated to boost pay for Head Start teachers and staff. Even with that proposed boost, however, Head Start funding would be inadequate to pay competitive salaries commensurate with education and experience. The early learning workforce, including Head Start, ranks in the lowest 10% of professions for compensation, which is why NHSA is requesting funding of at least $16.5 billion.

“As we move the country forward after the pandemic, there’s no doubt that lawmakers know the positive impact of investing in early learning and care would be felt for generations. So, too, will the consequences of inaction,” continued Vinci. “Congress must include significant, sustained funding in the FY24 budget and beyond to prevent the collapse of our early learning system and make quality care options available and affordable for more families.”

About NHSA

The National Head Start Association is a not-for-profit organization committed to the belief that every child, regardless of circumstances at birth, has the ability to succeed in school and in life. The opportunities offered by Head Start lead to healthier, empowered children and families, and stronger, more vibrant communities. NHSA is the voice for nearly 1 million children, 270,000 staff and 1,600 Head Start and Early Head Start grantees in the United States. ••• Media Contact: media@nhsa.org

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