Head Start Appreciates President’s FY23 Budget Proposal
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Head Start Association (NHSA) recognizes the commitment of support and funding in this year’s budget proposal from the President’s desk. The proposed budget increases Head Start’s budget by $1.16 billion over FY22, including a significant increase for expansion of infant-toddler care through Early Head Start (EHS) and EHS-Child Care Partnerships.
“Early childhood education and care professionals are the lifeblood of our country’s family infrastructure and they are now in short supply. Current staffing shortages are creating crisis-level challenges for many providers,” said NHSA Executive Director Yasmina Vinci. “It is essential for this year’s budget to not only embrace near-term solutions that stabilize the workforce but also focus holistically on long-term workforce sustainability and continue transformational efforts to prepare children for success in school and life, empower working parents, and redesign early learning to drive better outcomes for all Americans.”
The early childhood workforce, including Head Start, ranks in the lowest 10% of professions for compensation, threatening the stability and ability of Head Start programs to properly serve a maximum number of children. Likewise, inflation has increased significantly in the past year. With a FY22 COLA of 2.3%, the Head Start workforce is actually losing ground during this fiscal year. The pay gap—both with the public schools and with low-wage private-sector jobs in retail and the service industry—has resulted in an unprecedented turnover in Head Start.
“We appreciate the increase in Head Start funding President Biden proposed and we look forward to working with the President and Congress to ensure Head Start and Early Head Start staff receive not only a living wage, but a professional wage that they deserve,” said Vinci. “Our drumbeat continues: the leaders of our nation must address the systemic workforce challenges facing early childhood educators in order for Head Start to continue providing the high-quality services our families depend upon.”