OPINION: Head Start founder sought paid family leave
By Olivia Golden
I met Ed Zigler, a Head Start founder and an extraordinary early childhood advocate, in 1993 when I joined the Clinton administration.
My job as commissioner for children, youth and families, and later as assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, included overseeing the Head Start program and enacting a major Head Start expansion in the face of opposing arguments that the program didn’t work or should become a state block grant.
We invited Zigler to join the newly created advisory committee on Head Start quality and expansion, and then a follow-up advisory committee on Early Head Start. He played a powerful role as a leader on both committees — contributing in the end to successful enactment of a major expansion and reauthorization of Head Start, and the creation of the Early Head Start program for babies and toddlers.
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