Administering Head Start Programs
The Head Start Program is a federally funded early childhood education program that provides comprehensive services to low-income families with children from birth to age five. The program is designed to promote school readiness and provide a wide range of social, health, and educational services to children and their families.
SEACAA member agencies are often involved in the administration of Head Start programs. They may help to identify families who are eligible for the program, provide transportation services, offer parenting education classes, and coordinate other support services.
In 2020, Head Start was funded to serve 839,116 children and pregnant people in centers, family homes, and in family child care homes.”
Research has shown that early intervention is key in a child’s physical, cognitive, social and emotional development. SEACAA member agencies work with their State-licensed child care centers to provide high quality education services to infants and toddlers—from six weeks to three years old—and their families, and in a strong, relationship-based environment.
The U.S. Congress authorizes the amount of federal spending for Head Start each year. The Head Start program is administered by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Head Start awards federal grants directly to public agencies, private nonprofit and for-profit organizations, tribal governments, and school systems for operating Head Start programs in local communities.
SEACAA member agencies are also involved in advocating for policy changes at the local, state, and federal levels to support early childhood education and other programs that benefit low-income families. By working together with other organizations and community members, community action agencies can help to create a more equitable and inclusive society for all.