In January, the NLC started a seven point advocacy agenda for 2004 aimed at maximizing federal support for programs that are important to America's cities and towns. There were four programs that NLC wanted to strengthen and get more funding for children and families. They were Head Start, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), No Child Left behind (NCLB) and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
NLC wants to make sure that Head Start gets reauthorized. This legislation will ensure local control of this extremely thriving program. NLC powerfully opposes legislation that will block grant Head Start to the states or contains any provision that undermines local control of the program.
Head Start and Early Head Start are comprehensive child development programs which serve children from birth to age 5, pregnant women, and their families. They are child-focused programs and have the overall goal of increasing the school readiness of young children in low-income families.
The Head Start program is administered by the Head Start Bureau, the Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF), Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Grants are awarded by the ACF Regional Offices and the Head Start Bureau's American Indian - Alaska Native and Migrant and Seasonal Program Branches directly to local public agencies, private organizations, Indian Tribes and school systems for the purpose of operating Head Start programs at the community level.
The Head Start program has delivered comprehensive and high quality services designed to foster healthy development in low-income children. Head Start grantee and delegate agencies provide a range of individualized services in the areas of education and early childhood development; medical, dental, and mental health; nutrition; and parent involvement. In addition, the entire range of Head Start services is responsive and appropriate to...