For Immediate Release: February 17, 2011

218,000 Children Could Lose Head Start Services if House Proposal Passes

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Today Highlights Administration's Plan to Invest in Children

Following is a statement by Danielle Ewen, director of child care and early education at CLASP, the Center for Law and Social Policy, regarding the House proposal to slash Head Start funding by 15 percent, and the Obama Administration's announcement today calling for new efforts to raise the bar on quality across all early learning settings, especially for children with high needs. The administration's announcement comes on the two-year anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which provided funds that allowed 60,000 more children and families to receive support in Head Start and Early Head Start programs across the nation.

"With one in four young children living in poverty, the need for Head Start is greater than ever.The cut proposed in the House not only will hurt our most vulnerable children, it is the definition of penny-wise and pound foolish. National studies confirm that Head Start has improved the lives of both children and their families.

"We are pleased that the Obama Administration is standing up for young children and recognizing the value in investment in early education by committing to establishing a new Early Learning Challenge Fund, strengthening Head Start, and increasing the quality and affordability of child care."

To view Ms. Ewen's complete statement on the value of head start, go to: http://www.clasp.org/issues/in_focus?type=child_care_and_early_education&id=0295

To view state-by-state projections of the number of children to lose services if the House proposal passes, go to: http://www.clasp.org/admin/site/publications/files/hr1_headstart.pdf

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