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A $1.3 billion win for Head Start Children, Families, and Staff!

Dear Head Start Colleagues,

We did it! After more than a year of your persistent action, tireless advocacy, and hard, dedicated work, we landed a $610 million increase in funding for Head Start and Early Head Start.

This means that, in the past month, Head Start and Early Head Start have seen increases of nearly $1.3 billion!

The negotiated omnibus FY 2018 appropriations bill, which passed both houses of Congress yesterday and was signed by the President today, includes $9.853 billion for Head Start and Early Head Start, a $610 million increase over FY 2017 funding.

That increase includes:

  • $216 million for a cost of living adjustment (COLA) for Head Start staff (approximately a 2.2% increase, which is in line with inflation).
  • $260 million for partial day, partial-year programs to extend the duration of their services to better meet the needs of working families.
  • $115 million for Early Head Start Expansion and Child Care Partnerships. This includes $15 million for COLA for existing partnership grantees and $100 million for new grants “to continue to equally prioritize EHS Expansion and EHS-CC Partnerships, as determined by the needs of local communities, as done in previous grant competitions for this program.”

The funding increase in the FY 2018 omnibus will mean that program will have additional resources to better support teachers and staff, more children will have access to full-day and full-year early child education, and more infants and toddlers will start off life with the Head Start advantage.And, let us not forget the additional $650 million in disaster relief funding Head Start received in February to meet the recovery needs of Head Start programs impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.

While I’m proud of the work our team did to secure this increase in funding, I’m also humbled by the incredible efforts of each and every one of you who make up our remarkable community.  I’d like to particularly thank our A-Team members (Appropriations-Team) for their herculean efforts over the past year.

As we celebrate this reaffirmation of Congress’ commitment to Head Start, we will look to build on our success in FY 2019 and beyond.

Thank you and congratulations Head Start!

In partnership,

Yasmina Vinci
Executive Director
National Head Start Association