Head Start and Early Head Start

Supporting increased access to, and quality in, comprehensive federal early childhood programs for infants and toddlers and young children.

Angie's Story

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. Although the programs served more than a million low-income children in 2013, funding was only available to serve 4 in 10 eligible 3- and 4-year-olds and 4 percent of eligible infants and toddlers.

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.