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ERIC Number: ED537502
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Apr
Pages: 54
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Building on the Promise: State Initiatives to Expand Access to Early Head Start for Young Children and Their Families
Schumacher, Rachel; DiLauro, Elizabeth
Center for Law and Social Policy, Inc. (CLASP)
Babies need good health, strong families, and positive early learning experiences to promote their healthy intellectual, social, and emotional development. However, as the poverty rate for children under age 3 continues to increase, a rising number of young children are going without these supports. The federal Early Head Start program (EHS) was created to help minimize the disparities caused by poverty by supporting the healthy development of pregnant women and low-income infants and toddlers in the context of their families and communities. Research has shown that EHS positively impacts children's cognitive, language, and social-emotional development; parents' progress toward self-sufficiency; as well as a wide range of parenting outcomes. Unfortunately, federal funds reach less than 3 percent of all eligible children. Changes made in the 2007 reauthorization of the federal legislation will present new opportunities to build on EHS at the federal, state, and local levels, but without new funds at the federal level, these opportunities cannot be realized. Through interviews with state leaders, this study found 20 states that have taken action to expand and enhance EHS services for infants, toddlers, and their families. Based on an in-depth study of these state efforts, the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) and ZERO TO THREE recommend that state leaders interested in promoting better futures for at-risk children review the approaches, opportunities and challenges, and recommendations in this paper, and take appropriate action to build on the promise of EHS. Overview of State Initiatives Building on Early Head Start is appended. (Contains 5 tables and 57 endnotes.) [This paper was also supported by the Irving Harris Foundation.]
Center for Law and Social Policy. 1015 15th Street NW Suite 400, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-906-8000; Fax: 202-842-2885; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Birth to Five Policy Alliance; John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Authoring Institution: Center for Law and Social Policy; ZERO TO THREE: National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families