The first post in this series examined what exactly the sequester is, and a brief introduction to the anticipated impacts on Nebraska’s kids. The second part of this multi-part series will focus on Head Start and Early Head Start.
Head Start is a federal program that promotes the school readiness of children ages birth to five from low-income families by enhancing their cognitive, social, and emotional development (About Head Start).
In 2011, 6,685 kids and 238 pregnant women in Nebraska were served by Early Head Start and Head Start in 12 and 16 programs, respectively.
Head Start and Early Head Start programs will be hit hard by the sequester, but programs are still waiting on official word from federal offices on how hard the hit will be. Based on across the board cuts of 5%, Nebraska is anticipating a decrease in funding for Head Start of nearly $2 million.
“Agencies are thinking creatively about how to absorb these cuts without compromising the quality or continuation of services for any children or their families in their current program cycle” (Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center). Regardless of how creative Nebraska’s Head Start and Early Head Start agencies are, these cuts could lead to approximately 300 young children not having the opportunity to access Head Start and Early Head Start services.
For more information check out the Head Start Sequestration Frequently Asked Questions