Statement on Senate Appropriations Committee FY17 Funding Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Senate Appropriations Committee passed the Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17) Labor, Health and Human Services funding bill, which includes a $35 million increase in Head Start funding to support high quality early learning services. The following statement should be attributed to Yasmina Vinci, Executive Director of the National Head Start Association:

“The Head Start community applauds Chairmen Cochran and Blunt, Ranking Members Mikulski and Murray, and the rest of the Senate Appropriations Committee for their long-standing support of Head Start, and for the funding provided in this bill to support the continued delivery of vital early learning services to vulnerable children and families. Understanding the allocation provided to the subcommittee were severely constrained, we appreciate Head Start being considered a funding priority. The $35 million increase will be instrumental to providing comprehensive early childhood services to nearly 1,000,000 Head Start children from birth to age five.

As the Office of Head Start prepares to release new performance standards, leading to significant extensions in the number of days and hours children spend in Head Start, we do remain concerned about the potential reduction in the number of children and families who will be able to access Head Start based on the funding levels included in the Senate bill. We look forward to working with Congress as this legislation progresses to ensure Head Start can continue offering high quality, evidence-based education and care, without reducing the number of children enrolled.”

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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