Head Start Creates Jobs And Supports Families
Feb 11, 2009
In the Senate passed economic recovery package, Head Start and Early Head Start received only half of the increase proposed in the House package. The $2.1 billion investment in Head Start in the House economic recovery plan could create 50,000 to 60,000 new jobs.&0160; An op-ed published this week by Professor David Kirp in the San Francisco Chronicle argued that the idea of reducing the amount of funding for Head Start in the economic recovery package is a mistake whose reverberations will be felt long after the recession is over. Kirp further argues that Head Start, like other early childhood programs, does generate jobs from the teachers, aides, and other staff directly employed by the program; to the companies that sell cribs, crayons, and similar early childhood supplies; to the parents who need care for their children in order to work. Indeed, the 2008 Head Start data reports that in 70 percent of all Head Start families, one or both parents were employed. In 14 percent of families, one or both parents were in job training or school.
Head Start is a high quality comprehensive early childhood program that supports families and helps children thrive. Nearly four decades of research establish that Head Start improves the school readiness of young children. The Head Start Impact Study, a national random assignment study using data collected during the fall 2002-spring 2003 school year, found that the program had statistically significant impacts on cognitive, social, and emotional development, health, and parenting practices. New investments in Head Start and Early Head Start will pay off now, and in the future.