Senate Appropriations Committee Approves Funding Increase for Head Start and Early Head Start

Washington, D.C.The Senate Appropriations Committee passed the Fiscal Year 2024 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, which provides $12.3 billion for Head Start and Early Head Start programs, an increase of $275 million over Fiscal Year 2023.

National Head Start Association Executive Director Yasmina Vinci made the following statement:

“We are grateful for the steadfast commitment to the children and families served by Head Start, demonstrated yet again today in a difficult budget environment, by Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray and Ranking Member Susan Collins. They, along with Subcommittee Chairwoman Baldwin and Ranking Member Capito, fully recognize the economic and societal challenges facing low-income workers and young parents, and the criticality of science-based early learning, particularly for children from at-risk backgrounds. 

Through their dedicated leadership, Head Start continues to see strong bipartisan support even in the face of an extremely tight and unforgiving allocation. There is no question that a funding level of $12.3 billion does leave room for improvement, but children and families are in substantially better shape than the current allocation in the House Appropriations Subcommittee bill which imposes a $750 million cut to Head Start and Early Head Start. Such a drastic cut, along with the added impact of inflation, would eliminate the opportunity for roughly 80,000 children and their families to benefit from the life-changing experiences offered through Head Start and Early Head Start.

I’m hopeful that, as these bills move through the legislative process, common sense and an eye to the future will prevail around supporting programs like Head Start that deliver significant value for children, families, and for our nation.”

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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