The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) releases a national snapshot of participants in the Head Start program, the nation’s preschool program which serves about 1 million underserved and needy children each year.
The 2016 snapshot uses Program Information Reports (PIR) collected during the 2013-14 program year, the most recent data available. The PIR collects data on all children and pregnant women who participate in Head Start at any point during the program year, including those who do not complete the year.
The FY 2014 federal appropriation for Head Start was over $8.6 billion. The Head Start preschool program served 885,410 young children through 1,763 grantees nationwide in 2014. And 85% of all federally funded Head Start slots were in Head Start preschool programs. Nationally, about 42% of eligible children were served by Head Start.
- Most children (88%) received a medical screening as required by federal Head Start Program Performance Standards; 11% required follow-up treatment, and of those children, the majority (93%) received treatment.
- 12% of enrolled children had a disability, more than half (57%) of whom were diagnosed prior to the Head Start year. Among those preschool children diagnosed with a disability, almost all of them (99%) received special education and related services.
- Among children enrolled in Head Start preschool programs, 41% were white and 30% were Black or African- American; 36% were of Hispanic origin, regardless of race.
- 72% of children in Head Start preschool programs were from homes where English was the primary language, and 23% were from homes speaking primarily Spanish.
Finally, the percentage of families receiving benefits from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) was 52% in 2014 – down 3% from 2013. And 14% of Head Start preschool families received cash assistance under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, and 56% participated in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in 2014.
Info: http://goo.gl/ZTekJF (report).