Statement on Senate HELP Strong Start Act Hearing

Washington, D.C. — The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions held a hearing on the Strong Start for America’s Children Act, legislation to expand access to pre-kindergarten programs across the United States. The following statement should be attributed to Yasmina Vinci, executive director of the National Head Start Association:

“The National Head Start Association thanks Senator Harkin and all of the Members of the Committee for their attention today to the Strong Start for America’s Children Act today. Because of the leadership of Senator Harkin and the cosponsors of this legislation, conversations are taking place across America about how our nation can address the needs of every child during the critical early years.

This hearing is the next step in passing legislation to expand pre-kindergarten opportunities. Witnesses affirmed the importance of high-quality programs and the impact that these interventions will have—both on the children and families themselves as well as our economic future. Mayor Angel Taveras, Head Start alumnus, told his personal story and how it has inspired the innovative work he is now undertaking in Providence.

Decades of research show that a high-quality pre-kindergarten program experience has lasting effects, particularly for our most at-risk children. As we move forward, the National Head Start Association looks forward to continued work with Members of the Committee to ensure that the system we ultimately build provides accessible, intensive comprehensive services for our most vulnerable children and families from birth to kindergarten.”

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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