Getting a Head Start on Financial Security

Leigh Tivol and Jennifer Brooks

The Center for Economic Development (CFED) argues that the federal Head Start program, which offers early education services to nearly one million children and their low-income families, is a logical venue for connecting low-income families and participating teachers with a range of services that foster short term financial security and long-term economic prospects.  The Head Start Program works directly with 1,600 local agencies that provide education and social services, such as first-time homebuyer assistance programs and access to individual development accounts, to economically disadvantaged individuals and families.  Although 80 percent of Head Start’s funding comes from federal grants, in 2010, 16 states provided an additional $147 million in supplemental funding to allow an additional 17,000 more Head Start-eligible children and families to participate.

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