NHSA Statement FY23 continuing resolution

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In response to the continuing resolution Congress passed yesterday evening to prevent a government shutdown and buy time to finalize the FY23 budget before the 117th Congress adjourns, NHSA released the following statement:

“If we expect high-quality early childhood education services for our nation’s systemically underserved children, it’s imperative to put the Cost-of-Living Adjustment outlined in both the House and Senate FY23 appropriations bills into the hands of the Head Start workforce as soon as possible,” said NHSA Executive Director Yasmina Vinci. “We must compensate Head Start teachers and staff at a level that allows them to pay their bills. They come to Head Start because they love children. They feel called to this work, and they are gifted at nurturing our young children. But often they can’t pay their rent or buy groceries. That is unacceptable and we urge Congress to take action.”

The early childhood workforce, including Head Start, ranks in the lowest 10% of professions for compensation. This threatens the stability and ability of Head Start programs to properly serve a maximum number of eligible children. Combined with inflation, the pay gap—both with the public schools and with entry-level private-sector jobs in retail and the service industry—has resulted in an unprecedented turnover in Head Start.

“There is so much promise and opportunity in the proposed appropriations bills. We hope Congress and the Administration will do everything in their power to support the important work Head Start does, day in and day out, for families in need,” said Vinci.

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 840,000 children and families from systemically underserved populations, 250,000 staff, and 1,600 Head Start grant recipients. ••• Media Contact: Emily Wagner, Director of Communications, media@nhsa.org

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