Potential Government Shutdown Statement

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ahead of a potential federal shutdown, Executive Director of the National Head Start Association Yasmina Vinci released the following statement:

No matter the length, a federal shutdown has the potential to unleash a wave of uncertainty and hardship on the children and their families who depend on Early Head Start and Head Start as well as further decimate the workforce that cares for them.

The looming threat of a shutdown pushes programs to the edge, forcing families  who rely on Head Start for their children’s learning and care of the children so they can work and/or go to school into a difficult position.  It also aggravates the condition of our workforce, leaving them to grapple with ever-diminishing support systems and strained resources.  If a shutdown happens on October 1, there are 10 programs serving more than 10,000 children and families across the nation who will be immediately impacted. And if the shutdown stretches from days to weeks or even months, the likelihood of closed classrooms increases drastically—all the while Congress has the ability to pass a simple, straightforward, bipartisan continuing resolution to enable further debate without harm to children and families.

To those who are holding us back from a resolution, we plead: putting children and families at risk doesn’t help anything. This entirely avoidable situation is yet another blow to families and providers who are already at a breaking point. We urge Congress to come together on an agreement as quickly as possible—to ensure Head Start classrooms stay open, children learn, parents work, and the Head Start workforce is afforded the support they need in fiscal year 2024.”

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: media@nhsa.org

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