A Look Back at Head Start
|February 27, 2012||Posted by M. P. under Children and Family, Education, Policy||
Well into its fifth decade of operation, Head Start provides early childhood education opportunities for preschool age children from low-income families as well as early intervention for infants, toddlers and expectant mothers in communities across the nation. A recent policy brief from CLASP, Putting Children and Families First – Head Start Programs in 2010, examines program data to ascertain the impact of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) fund on the program as well as discuss program trends from the late 1990’s through 2010.
Report highlights include:
- In 2010, of the more than 1.1 million children served by Head Start, 86 percent were between the ages of 3-5; and 14 percent birth through age 2 were served through the Early Head start program.
- In 2010, 40 percent of Head Starts participants were white, 29 percent African American, 8 percent reported themselves biracial or multiracial, 4 percent were American Indian or Alaska Native, 2 percent Asian and 1 percent Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander. Eleven percent reported their race as “other. ” Thirty-six percent of all participants reported being of Hispanic or Latino ethnicity.
- In 2010, over half of the families involved in Head Start (57 percent) were headed by a single parent. In nearly ¾ of Head Start families (72 percent), neither parent had achieved an education level above a high school degree or general equivalency degree (GED).
- In 2010, 12 percent of Head Start children were diagnosed as having a disability.
- In 2010, 76 percent of Head Start teachers had an associate degree or higher, an increase from the 51 percent in 2002.
The brief contains additional data on program services and families, as well as comparisons of data points over the past decade. CLASP also has a new data tool to assist decision makers and policy wonks with assessing their state’s needs around early childhood education. The tool is accessible through the CLASP website resource center.