FY23 Appropriations Deal Includes a $960 Million Increase for Head Start

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Head Start Association (NHSA) celebrates the record investment of $11.99 billion for Head Start and Early Head Start in the Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) budget, which is now on its way to the President’s desk. The FY23 budget includes a $960 million increase over last year for Head Start and Early Head Start.

“We are grateful to both Congress and the Biden Administration for recognizing American families’ need for high-quality, accessible early learning in order to rebuild and strengthen our economy,” said NHSA Executive Director Yasmina Vinci. “We thank them for their meaningful work to maximize the role Head Start plays in supporting the most vulnerable children and their families.”

Within the $960 million increase, Congress provided a record-setting $596 million for a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), which translates to an approximately 5.4% adjustment for all Head Start staff, $262 million for Quality Improvement Funding (QIF), and $8 million for the Tribal Colleges and Universities-Head Start Partnership Program. The bill also includes an additional $100 million to expand access to Head Start and Early Head Start.

“The combined COLA and the QIF should help ease the immediate burdens of inflation and help Head Start programs address the impacts of childhood trauma on our nation’s young children. The Head Start community is deeply grateful to the remarkable bipartisan leadership of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees—particularly from Chairwomen Rep. Rosa DeLauro and Sen. Patty Murray. We’re also deeply appreciative for the years of steadfast support from retiring members Sen. Patrick Leahy, Sen. Roy Blunt, Sen. Richard Shelby, and Rep. John Katko,” Vinci continued. “Nevertheless, compensation for the early childhood workforce, including Head Start, ranks in the lowest 10% of professions—an enormous contributing factor to recent and unprecedented staff turnover, which threatens the stability and ability of Head Start programs to properly serve a maximum number of children. NHSA is committed to working with the 118th Congress to address systemic workforce challenges so Head Start can continue to provide the high-quality services families depend upon.”

About NHSA

The National Head Start Association is 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 more than 1 million children, 270,000 staff and 1,600 Head Start grant recipients in the United States. ••• Media Contact: Emily Wagner, Director of Communications, media@nhsa.org

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