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Head Start and Early Head Start are federally funded, locally administered programs that provide quality, comprehensive early childhood development and learning services to preschool aged children, infants, and toddlers. Head Start supports development of the whole child, promoting school readiness by providing educational, health, nutritional and social services to enrolled children -- while also supporting their families. Despite serving over a million low-income children, fewer than half of eligible children are able to benefit from Head Start and less than 5 percent participate in Early Head Start.
CDF supports Head Start’s mission of providing comprehensive, quality early childhood services to children and their families, and advocates for increased funding for the program so more eligible children and families can benefit.
Head Start has proven results. Children who participate are school ready, less likely to need special education, and more likely to graduate high school and go on to college.