ERIC Number: ED483844
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004-May-4
A Head Start for Poor Children? Backgrounder. No. 1755
As the 39-year-old federal Head Start program once again comes before Congress for reauthorization, several unanswered questions that have dogged the program since its inception should be considered: (1) Does it work? (2) Does it make any difference in the long run? and (3) Will modest changes supported by the Bush Administration gain traction? This document raises several points of discussion relating to the federal Head Start program. Since 1965, taxpayers have spent more than $66 billion on Head Start to provide comprehensive health, social, educational, and mental health services to 21 million poor children. Taxpayers are currently spending more than $25 billion each year for state and federal early childhood day care and education programs. States, however, have no legal authority to work with or improve Head Start programs. The document also draws attention to a recent report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services documents a lack of coordination between Head Start and state-based preschool programs, which has resulted in duplication of services, service gaps, and lack of communication and information sharing. Sections in the document include the following: (1) Achievement Gap Persists; (2) The Studies' Shortcomings; (3) To Learn or to Play?; (4) Pilot Program a Lightning Rod; and (5) Conclusion.
Descriptors: Program Effectiveness, Disadvantaged Youth, Economically Disadvantaged, Child Care, Preschool Education, Federal Legislation, Educational Legislation
The Heritage Foundation, 214 Massachusetts Avenue, N.E. Washington, DC 20002?4999. Tel: 202-546-4400.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Authoring Institution: Heritage Foundation, Washington, DC.